Trapped Ashes (2006) Poster

(2006)

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7/10
The End of the Stories
claudio_carvalho7 February 2010
The actress Phoebe Kane (Rachel Veltri) and her boyfriend Andy (Jayce Bartok), the architect Henry (Scott Lowell) and his wife Julia (Lara Harris), the former director Leo (John Saxon) and Nathalie (Michèle- Barbara Pelletier) receive an invitation for a VIP Tour in the Ultra Studios. When they see the spooky house where the missing director Desmond Hacker filmed "Hysteria", they ask their tour guide (Henry Gibson) to stop the car to visit the infamous house. In a moment, they find that they are trapped in a room without any exit and the guide suggests them to tell the scariest experience of each one like in "Hysteria". Each one tells a spooky tale until they finally discover the end of their stories.

"Trapped Ashes" follows the structure of "Creepshow" with a lead story and four segments in the format of "Tales from the Crypt". The lead segment is directed by Joe Dante and the motive why the participants disclose their stories is silly and unreasonable. Ken Russell directs the funny and bizarre "The Girl with the Golden Breasts" with the artificial breasts implanted by the actress sucking human blood. Sean S. Cunningham directs "Jibaku" with the journey to hell of Julia in Japan. Monte Hellman directs the erotic "Stanley's Girlfriend" and with sexy Nina performed by the gorgeous unknown Amelia Cooke affecting the relationship of two best friends. John Gaeta directs the gruesome segment "My Twin, The Worm". In the end, "Trapped Ashes" is a good entertainment despite the unfair reviews in IMDb. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Armadilha do Terror" ("Trap of Terror")

Note: On 17 January 2012, I saw this film again.

On 21 August 2015, I saw this film again.
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4/10
Creepshow revisited
dschmeding24 July 2008
I don't know why but I used to be a huge fan of Creepshow and Tales from the crypt although the later series were rather lame. "Trapped Ashes" is very much in this tradition and features 4 horror shorts bound together in a surrounding plot of 2 couples and 2 solo people going on a sightseeing on a Hollywood movie site and getting stuck in an hold horror house with an old guy who leads them around. Turns out they can only leave if each tells their most frightening personal story... so here we go... Story 1 is about an actress who doesn't get any new jobs and decides to get a boob job. Now after her life turns around for the positive she soon realizes that her breast are vampire boobies feeding on human blood which doesn't go to well for her lovers. This story is pretty bizarre and trashy and captures the spirit of old "Tales from the crypt" stories best. Its totally idiotic but the end is so over the top its fun. Story 2 is a ghost-story about a couple moving to Japan where the woman is seduced by a monk who dies and takes her to hell where she turns into a succubus. Her husband soon learns he has to free her from there by feeding her a spell. The story is OK, but as frightening or thrilling as a Sesamestreet Episode. At least you get some naked shots and some nice animation sequences of old Japanese paintings which work pretty well. Story 3 is pretty much nothing leading nowhere. An actor and his best friend a scriptwriter regularly meet for chess until a girl appears. Soon the scriptwriter disappears and the actor begins a love affair to find out years later that the girl is some kind of ghost/witch/vampire... honestly I couldn't care less because the episode is boring and makes no sense. Story 4 is another strange one about a girl who grows up in her mothers womb along with a tapeworm and lives with a strange desire for collecting food for her "twin". When she is treated badly by her stepmother the "twin" takes revenge.

What most of the stories suffer from is incredibly long passages of introducing of characters and that is way stretched and often even unnecessary for the plod. So when the action starts most of the time is up and there is not too much time for the horror to happen. Like most of those story collections there is some bad apples in there and I couldn't recommend this average movie just for the vampire boobies and the finale. This is just for real die hard fans of horror shorts... the slow ghost movies won't be too interesting for neither "Tales..." Fans nor others because they don't lead nowhere. Too bad...
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5/10
5 uneven Tales From the Crypt style stories done cheaply by master directors makes for just okay viewing
dbborroughs30 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Tales from the Crypt like anthology of a group of people on a studio tour who get trapped in a "psycho" like house and tell ghost stories to escape. Of interest mainly for the directors involved-Joe Dante, Ken Russel, Sean Cunningham, Monte Hellman the film itself is a mixed bag. One story has to do with an actress getting her breasts done, another has to do with a Stanley Kubrick like director and an actor friend, Another has to do with a couple who go to Japan and discover a hanged man and the last has to do with a young woman and her twin..or something. Three of the four stories aren't bad, if over long. One (the girl and her twin) is just fair. The problem is the films don't really add up to much, more so that the sting in each tale is left for the very end of the film where we are told what really happened. Its a weird way to do it, and it almost works, but not quite since any tension from the stories are long gone by the final revelations (There is also a couple of lapses of internal logic as a result of the breaking apart.) Worth a look on a slow Saturday on cable. I do have to say that the Ken Russell "Girl with the Golden Breasts" tale is very amusing and a vast improvement over his direct to video home movies. I especially loved his cameo.
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4/10
Below average erotic anthology
Shattered_Wake31 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A group of tourists on a movie studio lot are locked in the House of Horror and forced to tell 'true' ghost stories about themselves in order to be released. The stories range from plastic surgery nightmares to necrophilia.

Mysteriously, this film started filming shortly after Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted was released. . . but, I'll just chalk that up to coincidence. From some of the (former) great minds of horror that have brought us such horrors as Friday the 13th, Altered States, The Lair of the White Worm, The Howling, Piranha, Gremlins, The 'burbs, and. . . umm. . . Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!. . . we're now given Trapped Ashes. It's anthology of four (plus wraparound) stories that vary in quality from the average 'Jibaku' to the pathetic 'Golden Breasts,' we're given quite an array of 'terrifying' tales. Like most anthologies, it's not so much the point of the stories. . . just the stories themselves. However, Trapped Ashes did manage to give a reason for the anthology, so kudos to that. As far as the stories go:

  • The Girl with Golden Breasts: The idea was interesting, like Teeth, but with a different part of the female anatomy. There was some good, cringeworthy gore. . . but that's about it. The acting was amateurish, only accentuated by terrible dialogue (including my most hated error: outwardly spoken inner dialogue). As the story progressed, it became more and more ridiculous, resulting in an almost embarrassing conclusion.


  • Jibaku: In hopes of classing up the film with some Asian flare, the next story headed to Japan. It's fairly disgusting as it studies some weird necrophiliac fantasies and the story is interesting, but it becomes a bit muddled as it goes through and is ultimately forgettable.


  • Stanley's Girlfriend: The third tale, this one about the peril of deceit, is the 'classiest' of the bunch, utilizing mood & suspense more than outward horror. Unfortunately, in an attempt to be slow-burning, it ends up just being downright slow. It's not poorly made, just seems rather unimportant until the final reveal.


  • My Twin – The Worm: Uninvolving is probably the best word to describe this one. It was an interesting parasite-twin story. . . but, I didn't really care all that much and found myself easily distracted.


Although I didn't like the tales, I did like the idea for the wraparound. Unfortunately, an anthology made up of lame stories makes for a lame anthology. And, overall, that's what this film turns out to be: pretty lame. If you're heavy into anthologies, give it a look. . . but you can do much better.

Final verdict: 4/10.
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5/10
Has its moments
Chromium_five23 September 2007
I went to see this solely on the basis that it was an anthology horror film. The best I can say about it is that if you are looking for a movie that will make you writhe in discomfort for a couple hours (which is what I was hoping for), this will probably do the trick. The first two stories have the combined effect of making you never want to have sex again. The fourth attempts (less successfully) to put you off both sex and food. The third is a bit of breather in that it has none of the grisly horror of the others and feels like a decent, thoughtful movie that was mistakenly put in the reel. The central narrative, unfortunately, is pretty dull. All of the stories together, while varying in tone, can be boiled down to one basic message: women should be feared. The movie on the whole is an admirable effort and there are certain images that will stay with you for all time either for their grossness or coolness (the breast surgery and the womb-cam in particular), but it does feel like it could have achieved a lot more.
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2/10
Thank god for Netflix.....
sanjr12 August 2008
All I can say is THANK GOD FOR NETFLIX!!! I'm the type of cinephile who will buy a movie sight unseen if the filmmakers interest me or if it's a horror film that sounds interesting. In that sense "Trapped Ashes" fulfilled the criteria perfectly....

I realized recently though that I really am wasting money buying movies unseen so I signed up with Netflix figuring that I could rent new releases that appealed to me & if I liked em' I would purchase em'. "Trapped Ashes" was a movie I was dying to see. How could it go wrong?? Russell, Cunninngham, Dante, Hellman & Gaeta (The rookie of the 5) each directing a segment of a horror film?? It's gotta rock...Doesn't it?? It doesn't rock. It's actually pretty much a complete failure. It plays like one of those softcore "Horror" movies that used to play on Showtime in the late 80's thru the mid 90's. Aside from some so-so effects in the first segment there is nothing to recommend this disaster at all.

I returned it to Netflix on the same day I received it, Thankful for the money I saved by not purchasing it. Be warned...It sucks!!
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10/10
A fantastically good time!
blindingcoffin18 September 2006
I saw this one at the Midnight Madness screening in Toronto and I have to say I was thoroughly entertained. Before the film the producer mentioned he wanted to bring back an Amicus-style anthology film, which it definitely captures the feeling of, however with a very distinctively Japanese feel (most notably in Sean Cunningham's episode) as well as a twinge of Cronenberg-style body horror.

It's great to see Ken Russell back shooting films for the big screen where he belongs and his episode is complete and total obsessive madness where you can tell that he had as much fun making it as I had watching it. Cannibalistic breasts may not be the subtlest of images, but if you go with it you'll have a blast.

The next episode is what might possible be the best and most experimental Sean Cunningham film ever made. Combining animation with some rather shocking scenes of necrophilia and traditional Japanese horror imagery, the episode is both surprising and creepy. It's quite bold and radical, entirely different from anything Cunningham has done before.

The Monte Hellman episode, that was lauded at Cannes, is a cool change of pace for the film, displaying a deep love of cinema history as well as adding a haunting twist to the mythology of the moving image.

And finally, the last episode from newcomer John Gaeta is an extremely well made body horror story that's based on a semi-true story (as we learned from the Midnight Madness Q+A) about a woman's fraternal link with her mother's tapeworm. This is one of the most original and interesting stories of the movie that features great concepts and imagery.

The Joe Dante directed wrap around segments are suitably amusing (even get a Dick Miller cameo) and it's fantastic as always to see John Saxon do his thing.

Writer and producer Dennis Bartok has been able to round up some of cinema's heroes and give them an opportunity to do something different. His screenplay is very consistent however in retaining a singular and entertaining voice between the different personalities of the directors.

This is the kind of film you should just sit back, relax and enjoy as a sometimes subversive, but always quirky trip into the genre. It seethes with pure adoration for the movies, without falling into forced reference-laden in-jokes.

I, for one, had a blast watching it.
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6/10
I want the old me back without these bloodsucking tits you gave me.
lastliberal21 March 2009
A group gets trapped in a movie set and the tour guide (Henry Gibson) suggests they tell real-life horror stories and they may be let go.

In the first segment, Phoebe (Rachel Veltri) can't get any parts and figures she needs a boob job. She gets boob implants from a cadaver and gets sci-fi parts immediately. But, those boobs have a mind of their own. In a twist on Teeth, there are teeth in the nipples! In segment two, Julia (Lara Harris) goes on a trip to Japan with her husband Henry (Scott Lowell). Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) directs this segment which combines art, animation and reality in a really creepy ghost story. Henry was hoping to put some spark back in their sex life, but it was Julia that got the spark in this tale of necrophilia.

Monte Hellman, who shot some of the footage seen in the US in A Fistful of Dollars, directed the third segment, which focused on movies. John Saxon (From Dusk Till Dawn, Beverly Hills Cop III) becomes friends with Stanley (Tygh Runyan), and things went well until Nina (Amelia Cooke) shows up. This story has an interesting twist, but that comes at the end.

Visual effects supervisor John Gaeta gets his first directing job in the fourth segment. It was really a grotesque tale about a girl (Michèle-Barbara Pelletier) who was born with a worm. They couldn't kill the tapeworm in her mother without killing her also, so they grew inside together. Thing is, the worm never died, and it helped her when she needed it most - it was her twin after all.

Really great stories, but the ending was weird.
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5/10
Trapped Ashes
Scarecrow-8812 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Anthology shaped in spirit after the Amicus films from back in the day. Except, unlike those past anthologies where one director helmed the entire series of stories throughout the omnibus, "Trapped Ashes" features stories directed by a series of familiar names. Joe Dante(Gremlins;The Howling;Matinée)directs the wraparound story about various people(a screenwriter & his actress wife, a disgruntled married couple with issues, a down-on-his-luck writer whose now a relic, a weird employee at a theater who books films there(..perhaps modeled after Dennis Bartok himself who wrote "Trapped Ashes)and has a case of the munchies) who converge to ride a studios tour, guided by Henry Gibson. They plead in visiting the forbidden "Hysteria" mansion once operated by an effects maestro, known for his salacious sexual behavior and wicked parties, who was abandoned by Ultra Studios(..the setting for this film). Once inside the characters and their guide find themselves trapped in a room with seemingly no exits, this scenario perhaps modeled after the film Hysteria where the mansion was it's setting. The tour guide proposes that horrific stories shared by members of the trapped group might lead to their exit from the mansion and so the anthology begins.

Ken Russell(Gothic;Lair of the White Worm)directs the first tale regarding a pretty actress, nearing 30(..which is 60 in dog years in Hollywood)who decides to try out a new breast implant procedure(..using flesh from cadavers)in the hopes that it'll assist her non-successful career. The procedure has a nasty side-effect..her breast implants need human blood and drain the bodies of victims! The second tale, directed by Sean Cunningham(The New Kids;Friday the 13th)concerns a married couple in Japan and the wife who is haunted by a monk who committed suicide, ravaging her body as a rotting corpse, kidnapping her soul with the husband having to enter a hole to hell in order to save her. The third tale, from Monte Hellman(Two-Lane Black Top;Silent Night, Deadly Night III), shows how a seductress, with a taste for human blood, comes between friends, a director named Stanley(*wink*)and a writer, both whose careers are on the rise. The fourth tale, from John Gaeta(a visual effects expert), focuses on a pregnancy where the baby must share her womb with a parasitic worm which was ingested as the mother ate undercooked meat, and the aftermath. Lots of nudity(..the Russell tale obviously displays breasts, because Rachel Veltri's are creatures which suck blood), necrophilia(..during Lara Harris' "assault", mostly consensual, she actually puts her fingers into his face and under a chest bone while riding him on top!), a parasite molesting a female victim(..she's the stepmother of Michèle-Barbara Pelletier's girl-child who beguiled her father away from her mother), animation mixed with live action(..while the husband searches for his possessed wife in hell, Cunningham's tale uses anime to enliven certain aspects the low budget couldn't compensate), and some minor computer graphics(..in Gaeta's tale, we see inside the womb how the baby is affected by her mother and father's broken marriage with all the shouting). VERY low-budget, and perhaps shows signs of an amateur screen-writer, Dennis Bartok(..who operates the American Cinematheque)because, disappointing to me at least, the tales aren't quite up to par. I didn't think the cast was as bad as others, but the talents involved in this film perhaps deserved better material and actors(..other than the reliable vets, Dick Miller, who barely has any lines, and, especially, Gibson)than were given to them. Most of the tales, other than the Hellman tale, Stanley's Girlfriend, which was pretty much memorable for who the director turned out to actually be, left me rather underwhelmed(..particularly Cunningham's, which I felt needed more exposition). I thought Russell's was sick and morbid enough, also containing a wicked sense of humor and playful performance from the adorable Veltri, but most of the tales really leave anything to be desired. It was great seeing John Saxon in a major role within the film, hitting on a married woman, so there are a few treats for horror buffs. Maybe not enough, though, to recommend to the average horror fan. There's a great deal of unpleasant violence(..the aforementioned necrophilia, finger nails scratching down a man's chest before the woman drinks his blood, and a torn throat of a victim whose blood is used to nourish Veltri's monster tits)which might bode well with gorehounds. Maybe, anticipating this as much as I was, the film couldn't live up to my expectations, but I was expecting so much more than the results provided.
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5/10
Five tales of sex, horror, sex, sex and sex.
Coventry25 January 2021
Maybe it's too much of an assumption, or a generalization, but horror fans love anthologies! "Waxworks" (1924) and "Dead of Night" (1945) were the pioneers, and during the 70s in Britain, the Amicus Studios even specialized in them with a couple of classics as results, like "The House that Dripped Blood" and "Asylum". The ultimately popular omnibus came in the 80s, with George A. Romero's "Creepshow". Starting from the 90s, it became somewhat of a gimmick to have the separate segments directed by different - and preferably prestigious - directors. The variety of names usually makes it even more attractive for fans, but the participation of famous directors doesn't necessarily guarantee a brilliant anthology.

The names of the directors involved in "Trapped Ashes" is impressive, to say the least. Joe Dante ("The Howling", "Piranha") signed for the wraparound story, which gathers a group of seven people on a guided tour in an abandoned Hollywood movie studio. Dante, always his jolly self, takes the opportunity to give small roles to his buddies (like Dick Miller and Henry Gibson) but he's not given much material to work with otherwise.

The actual segments vary from extremely disappointing to surprisingly shocking. Sean S. Cunningham, horror-immortal thanks to the original "Friday the 13th", delivers the weakest contribution with a confusing and quite pretentious tale set in mystical Japan. The best story - or, better said, my own personal favorite - is a tie between Ken Russell's "The Girl with the Golden Breast" and John Gaeta's "My Twin, the Worm". The first is tacky but pleasantly deranged variation on the "I'll do whatever it takes to make it in Hollywood" theme, and I particularly love the second because of its rather disturbed premise of a fetus and a parasite developing in the womb together. Monte Hellman's tale is mediocre at best, in spite of the presence of the almighty John Saxon and the ingenious references towards Stanley Kubrick.

Undeniably, the main theme in every short story is sex. In fact, almost the entire film qualifies as pure body-horror, which also means that the sex and nudity is never arousing or even pleasant to look at. All the individual segments may look unfinished, since they all end rather abruptly, but even the lesser experienced horror fanatics can guess the real denouement comes at the end of the wraparound story. "Trapped Ashes" is a decent effort and an atypical anthology. I'm glad that I saw it, but I can't label it as a classic, nor a favorite.
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1/10
"Tales From the Crypt" never looked so good
jt199920 May 2009
Why would a smart and creative guy like Dennis Bartok come up with an embarrassing, insipid, boring, unfunny and revolting piece of pseudo-porn like "Trapped Ashes"?

If this is his tribute to "Tales From the Crypt," "Creepshow" and "The Vault of Horror," Bartok has seriously lost his way... and Freddie Francis is probably rolling over in his grave about now. Maybe Bartok should have made that story instead: clueless wannabe screenwriter desecrates legacy of legendary British director of "Tales From the Crypt," causing famed director to rise from dead and turn idiot writer-producer into Hamburger Helper.

So why did Bartok do it? Maybe he thought by rounding up a few veteran directors, his picture was in the bag -- no matter how awful the writing was. Or maybe he had an unconscious desire to destroy his chances of ever making it in this business. Hard to say. His therapist is probably the only one who knows for sure

But one thing's for sure: Bartok can kiss his Hollywood career goodbye!
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3/10
Huge letdown
movieman_kev10 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Six people are taking a tour of Ultra Studios when they get trapped in a haunted house (that's not usually on the tour, but they have VIP passes). They.along with their tour guide, have some horror stories to tell in the hopes of breaking free from the house somehow.

Phoebe is first and opts to tell the story of how she got implants from a human cadaver in order to help advance her movie career. But these tits are hungry for flesh. Directed by Ken Russell, this segment was slightly over the top and fun (in a rather stupid way), but didn't really go anywhere and had a non-ending. It came off like a disregarded idea from that Playboy awful "Inside Out" series from the '90's.

Next up is married couple, Julia and Henry, who tell the tale of their trip to Japan and an ill-fated painting that leads to a Buddhist monk who possesses the wife, driving her crazy. Aside from some nifty animation toward the end of this Sean S. Cunningham directed short, I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed by this one.

Leo (the great John Saxon) gets to tell the third story, of him and his friend, Stanley. With parallels to Stanley Kubrick's early career (not the supernatural tinge to it obviously) this was the most interesting of the quintet of stories that comprised the film. But it's a bit on the dry side and doesn't really fit in with the other four stories in the least. Also since this tale can be seen apart from this film in other places, I'd recommend that rather than sitting through this whole film merely for this one part.

Lastly, a tale is told of Nathalie and her 'twin', a parasitic worm, whom she has a strong bond with. The saved the worst for last it seemed (excluding the lame endings to each tale provided at the end of the film) as this story is trite, boring & uninteresting. The less said of it the better.

This sad little anthology concludes with the lame wraparound that can be guessed from the start it's so predictable.

Eye Candy: Rachel Veltri gets topless; Lara Harris provides the T&A

My Grade: D

DVD Extras: 'filmmakers & cast' commentary; 13 & a half minutes of deleted scenes;the director's cut of 'Staneley's Girlfriend'; the original cut of 'girl with golden Breasts'; A look inside featurette (divided into 5 parts) and trailers for the Midnight Meat Train, Bone Eater, Side Sho, the Bank Job, the Eye, & Rambo
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intermittently not bad, but for the most part cringe-worthy
marymorrissey15 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The idea of a breast implant surgery gone horrifically wrong is cute, but the overly campy treatment thereof doesn't really make the best of it. all in all, this was the strongest idea of the lot.

Next comes the Japanese horror "nod" - a real snooze. why does she have to have umpteen versions of her necro-fantasias before disappearing? Likewise the husband's running around asking people if they'd seen her would have worked better if he'd asked half as many people before getting to the person with some sort of answer.

The one about the two gifted directors might have been called, "how I became a horrifying cliché", "we both loved jazz, we both came to LA to make movies..." eek! and some of the dialog in that one oh my:

She, "What's the most important rule in chess?" He, "Follow your gut. And enjoy the emotions." She - looking as though she wouldn't know a contradiction in terms from a loose stool, "That sounds like a contradiction in terms!" He, "Well, perhaps it is!"

As horrifying as this exchange looks on paper, it's a lot worse when these lines take a good 2-3 minutes for the ham bone actors to finally divulge. And, eek!, a "love scene" follows. A slow as mo-lasses love scene: it takes a good 5 minutes to get to the first lip lock; there is so much posing that has to come first. eek! eek!

There is a sure logic, it would seem, from proceeding from a brilliant film career to running a vineyard!

I actually kind of liked the...idea of the ending. Problem here was that strangely, after the glacial pace of the film up till this point, the denouement is rushed, to its detriment. Whatever points were to be made in the 5 individual "postscripts" are barely outlined. Some of this urgency to get on with it would have been way better spent a-hustling' earlier on.
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4/10
A rocky road
cinemart15 September 2006
Anthology films rarely work for me. Most of them are as uneven as twenty miles of bad road. TRAPPED ASHES was yet another bumpy ride.

Six people are trapped in a room and must relate terrible things that they've had happen to them to their host (Henry Gibson). What follows are four segments directed by auteurs not necessarily known for their horror chops (with the possible exception of Sean S. Cunningham). Each segment prominently features the ties between sex and death so prevalent in horror films. One features a woman with vampiric breasts whose lamprey mouthed nipples sucks the blood of her lovers. Another woman falls for a corpse who whisks her away to hell while on Japanese holiday. A succubus falls for Stanley Kubrick. And the last, poor woman shares the insatiable hunger of her fraternal twin, a tapeworm.

The first segment sets up expectations that TRAPPED ASHES will be a much more lighthearted film. Surprisingly, this segment was directed by Ken Russell though it felt like something from Joe Dante or Paul Bartel (it was especially reminiscent of Irvin Kershner's "Hell Toupee" episode of "Amazing Stories"). The Sean S. Cunningham sequence felt like a pail gaijin aping of Hideo Nakata (THE RING) and John Gaeta's just didn't work at all. I enjoyed the Kubrick bit, courtesy of Monte Hellman - a perennial Cashiers du Cinemart fave - except that the horror element seemed like an afterthought.

Surprised that this wasn't called TALES FROM THE CRYPT: TRAPPED ASHES, this is one that can be missed by all except die hard John Saxon fans.
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Very fun throwback to 70s anthology horror
scooterandpetunia18 September 2006
Remember all those British-produced anthology horror films that sometimes made it to US theaters back in the 70s, but were more often screened on Saturday late night or Sunday afternoon television? Stuff like THE VAULT OF HORROR or TORTURE GARDEN or FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE (or TALES FROM THE CRYPT or TALES THAT WITNESS MADNESS and on and on)? TRAPPED ASHES is a heartfelt and enthusiastic (and largely successful) attempt to revisit that kind of sometimes-serious, sometimes-funny, sometimes-trashy scare flick.

Encompassing four short episodes and a wrap-around set in a deserted Hollywood studio tour's "haunted house," TRAPPED ASHES explores vampiric breast implants, horny spirits of suicidal Japanese monks, tapeworm twins, and the soul-sucking girlfriend of Stanley Kubrick. Some of the episodes are more successful than others, with the most confident probably being the "Stanley's Girlfriend" one, directed by the most decidedly NON-genre vet Monte Hellman. It's a really touching, elegiac little piece, full of imagination and a genuine love for the world of film. The other three stories - and the wraparound - are more traditionally horrific, but also very inspired in their mixture of sex, horror and a warped approach to the genre. The Ken Russell segment in particular, "The Girl with the Golden Breasts," had the audience in Toronto alternately laughing with glee or squirming in discomfort, leading to three audience casualties!

TRAPPED ASHES will appeal most to horror fans who are looking for a sometimes familiar, but definitely unique and twisted type of anthology genre film. Full of breasts, blood, great special effects, appearances by older actors like Henry Gibson, John Saxon, and a cool, "blink and you'll miss him!" cameo by none other than Dick Miller, it's a wonderful horror-movie debut for screenwriter Dennis Bartok and a great turn by all the veteran directors (and new director/vet f/x guy John Gaeta).

Highly recommended for a fun and old-fashioned-style scary time at the movies.
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8/10
Totally Fake and Terrifically Fun
phaedrav13 September 2006
The film keeps to the spirit of comic book erotic horror. The four stories are well matched and all good. It's a little bit sexy, but just a tease (yes guys, you get to see nipples, more than you want).

It's a little bit scary, but in a fun, carnival way. Each story had something in it that got somebody to leave the theatre for a different reason, so don't be afraid that it's totally lame and tame. And only one of the people who had to leave the theatre was obviously a plant to drum up publicity.

Keep an eye out for tributes to genre classics.

This is what the Tales From the Crypt movie could have been.
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4/10
Not good!
Leofwine_draca15 February 2016
TRAPPED ASHES is a very low budget anthology horror made in the same style as DR TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS or CREEPSHOW. It has an admirably old-fashioned feel to it, but unfortunately the constraints of budget and general cheesiness of the execution means that it disappoints rather than innovates throughout.

Unusually enough for a horror anthology, the best part of the film is the wraparound segment. This is directed by Joe Dante, who can't resist throwing in some old timers like his beloved Dick Miller and Henry Gibson (THE BURBS), who acts as a tour guide showing a group around an old haunted house. The stories that take place are as follows: The first, THE GIRL WITH GOLDEN BREASTS, is an awful bad taste joke about a woman whose breast enlargement operation goes awry. This one's directed by Ken Russell, who also cameos, and it's terrible from beginning to end. The second, JIBAKU, is directed by Friday THE 13TH's Sean S. Cunningham and is a Japanese-set ghost story. Sadly, the events that play out are entirely predictable, although Ryo Ishibashi (SUICIDE CLUB) bags a small role.

The third story, STANLEY'S GIRLFRIEND, arouses some mild interest by tackling the weighty subject of Stanley Kubrick, but it turns out to be routine despite the welcome presence of old-timer John Saxon. The final story, MY TWIN, MY WORM, is another bad taste story and the title tells you everything you need to know about that. I only really enjoyed TRAPPED ASHES for seeing the three old-time actors on-screen but the young cast members are very poor here and the directors appear to be slumming it. It's a pity.
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3/10
Bad anthology movie
Greatornot29 March 2009
I give this 3 stars mostly because of the acting. I truly did think the acting was great in this movie. Making people forget those Vincent Price anthologies or Tales from the Crypt shows, is not going to happen. These stories were written by a horny drunkard or so it seems. They were absolutely ridiculous. No imagination went into this. This was basically one of those stupid late cable sex programs with a tinge of Freddy Krueger infused. I did manage to sit thru the whole thing , hoping for at least one good story. The best part of this movie was the interaction of the 'trapped' , before and in between the horror stories. Way too goth for me, but if thats your thing you may like this film. Articulate acting - Yes, good movie- No!
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1/10
Great directors.... but how involved were they overall?
suttercane13 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I attended the premiere midnight screening of this film at the Toronto Film Festival last night and would have to say I'm severely disappointed. Going in, I had moderate to good expectations considering the talent and pedigree of the director's involved, and my hopes were dashed almost immediately. I highly respect these filmmaker's, but you get the feeling watching this that they didn't have a lot of creative control overall.

One thing must be made clear at this point: although a team of director's collaborated, it was all written by one man. And shot by the same cinematographer. And edited by the same team. These three areas (as well as the acting) are what really bring the film down. It's lazily written, unoriginal and clichéd to a fault. Everything is there, and we've seen it all before.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, as it was mentioned that this is a throwback to the Amicus and Hammer anthology pictures, but I digress - those films at least felt alive. This is a movie with no real characters, just carcitures to get dispatched as the writing sees fit.

The various cameos are fun, but they wink too much at the audience and in some cases (like the random transformation of a security guard into Dick Miller) are absolutely pointless.

SPOILERS: There are entertaining ideas, but they've all been done before: killer transplants, vengeful spirits, immortal succubi, killer aborted twin... the list goes on. Worst of all is the ending, in which the character I'll just call "Grandpa Exposition" openly says "you each forgot the endings of your own story" and then explains how.... drum-roll... everyone is dead ad caught in some kind of limbo (it's a twist you could predict by reading the name of the film).

Altogether it is a waste of two hours and a lot of talent. Rent it and watch in fast forward, or skip it all together.
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8/10
Hugely enjoyable horror anthology opus
Woodyanders17 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Seven strangers are forced to relate their most terrifying personal stories after they find themselves trapped inside the infamous House of Horrors while embarking on a movie studio tour.

First, most kinky, and delightfully outrageous yarn, "The Girl with Golden Breasts" -- Leave it to unabashed reprobate Ken Russell to milk wickedly funny dark comedy gold out of the hilariously ludicrous premise of an insecure struggling actress (yummy Rachel Veltri) who winds up getting killer vampire breast implants. The loopy satiric potshots at dangerous surgical enhancements and Hollywood's obsession with superficial appearances are simply spot-on, plus Russell himself pops up as a mad doctor sporting his own pair of lethal boobs (!).

Second and most eerie vignette, "Jibaku" -- Director Sean S. Cunningham does an ace job of crafting an extremely creepy and morbid atmosphere that's highlighted by a truly unnerving sex scene between the fetching Lara Harris and a hideous decomposing spirit. In addition, the cool animation offers a wealth of striking visuals and the descent into hell rates as a genuinely harrowing corker.

Third and best tale, "Stanley's Girlfriend" -- Director Monte Hellman's terrific 50's mood period piece not only serves as a lovely cinematic ode to legendary director Stanley Kubrick, but also brims with significant sexual tension thanks to the gorgeous Amelia Cooke's sensuous and magnetic portrayal of the alluring, yet enigmatic Nina. Spiffy surprise ending, too.

Fourth and weakest anecdote, "My Twin, the Worm" -- While director John Gaeta pulls off a few squirm-inducing moments of Cronenbergian body horror, the story for this one comes across as pretty slight and hence dissatisfying, with a weak fizzle for a conclusion.

Director Joe Dante makes neat use of a sprawling and rundown spooky old abode in the immensely entertaining wraparound segments. Moreover, Henry Gibson has a marvelously demented ball as a sinister tour guide, the always awesome John Saxon does his customary stellar work as washed-up has-been director Leo, and Dick Miller even has a brief, yet still welcome bit as security guard Max. Dennis Bartok's affectionate script shows a winning wholehearted affinity for such vintage 70's Amicus omnibus affairs as Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. A super fun frightfest.
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"All the characters gather in one room to tell horror stories to each other."
Backlash00728 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
~Spoiler~

I couldn't help getting a little bit excited for Trapped Ashes. It was an anthology horror film bringing the likes of Joe Dante (The Howling), Ken Russell (Altered States), and Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) together. But something told me not to get too excited because it would only lead to disappointment. Disappointment does not even cover the feeling. Trapped Ashes was a complete waste of time and talent. Really, is this the best they had to offer? Stories about vampire breasts, Asian sex demons, and a little girl that hordes food? The script is terrible and I can't understand what drew these once great directors to this project. Actually, the same can be said after watching Masters of Horror season 2 and Fear Itself. I know there are short stories out there begging to be filmed, but I think the horror anthology might be a hard sell in the future. I can't urge you enough not to see this film.
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1/10
Really a bad movie.
geobucks11 July 2008
I am so sick of low budget crap movies that try to propagandize with getting their "people" to come here and vote 10's to try and raise feces to a work of art. This is a horrible movie. Period. Lousy direction and acting, a story line that could have been oh, so much more. IMDb may use algorithms and secret formulas to try and limit "stuffing", but it is simply not working. To each their own, but, I think it is an awful movie. I watched part of the movie, but couldn't even bring myself to use bandwidth to pirate. Not "Sraight to Video", straight to coaster and into the garbage. I am reluctant to call this the "worst movie ever", (since there are too many doofae who do that, but ,IMHO, should be considered.
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9/10
Strange Brew, But I Likes It!
mark-218918 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. Where to begin? This anthology offers a whirlwind of styles, moods and horrific situations. I found some of it to be deeply unsettling: scenes & moments stayed with me for days (vampire breasts = more disturbing than you may think; rotting corpse lovers; nightmarish "womb with a view" recollections).

The talent on display is simply amazing. Ken (TOMMY, LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM) Russell, Sean (FRIDAY THE 13TH) Cunningham, Monte (TWO LANE BLACKTOP) Hellman (name checked in an REM song too!), John (THE MATRIX Trology SFX supervisor) and lastly but not leastly, Joe (GREMLINS) Dante.

I've seen a few message board comments trashing this movie, but let me tell you an opposing POV. This movie reflects the talents of the directors who took the time to make it. This is not SCREAM or THE RING (US) or THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. TRAPPED ASHES goes down it's own odd and disquieting pathway to hell. It has a decidedly literary flavor, although its shocks are as unpleasant & visceral as any classic horror film.

There's some cool acting talent along for the ride; Henry Gibson plays a man with a venomous secret; John Saxon plays a man haunted by the specter of long lost lust; Tahmoh Penikett, who plays Helo on SciFi Channel's amazing BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series, plays Saxon's younger self, a man who lets a succubus destroy a friendship and a life; even director Ken Russell gets in a hilariously strange cameo role.

Check your expectations at the door. TRAPPED ASHES is a horror movie unlike most you may have seen. It's an absolute MUST for hard core fans of the genre...
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8/10
Wussy Survivor from Toronto Film Fest Screening Speaks
darryl-shaw17 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Okay so maybe I'm a wimp or maybe I had legitimate medical reasons for fainting, but the fact is I do watch tons of horror films, volunteer regularly for a horror magazine, and this has never happened before. I should have fainted to Ichi the Killer, or Brain Dead, or f*ck, even the cockroach sequence in Creepshow- but no, the segment to knock me out was "The girl with the golden breasts" which was a story about this gorgeous chick who's boob implant goes horribly wrong. Following the episode I went to the doctor, got a blood test, EKG, had my blood pressure taken, a full out exam- and was told that I was probably dehydrated, my body type is lean and more susceptible. I was working crazy hours, attending midnight screenings, the theater was stuffy, and blah blah blah. I'm a guy who writes horror scripts! I've become jaded as a writer because I've found it increasingly hard to scare myself. I'd like to think I'm tougher than that, but damn. The feeling came on like dimensional twist- like I was fighting to stay in my body- my perspective was pulsing, disorientation followed, then the unfightable desire to go and splash some water on my face. I should have stayed in my seat. Instead, I went out to the lobby, came crashing down- busted open my eyebrow...and have no memory of the fall. To preserve my dignity- and see if it really was an epileptic thing, I attended the second screening, and am happy to say I survived- didn't faint or feel feverish throughout all the five stories, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I am totally into exploitation horror movies, and this one has plenty of it-- Though I would have liked to have seen more gore- the squeamish parts could have been expanded, made more sadistic, especially in the tape worm story-- the film as a whole reminded me of those old pulp EC horror comics I used to read as a kid. The lighting had echoes of Argento's Suspiria... The main score was effectively creepy, the director's styles were pretty varied adding some interesting textures to the whole, and I hope the people at Tales from the Crypt scoop up this team for another go at it- this time adding takashi miike to the roster to go full out into the lactating boob horror.
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This made me miss the fun old horror anthology films of the 70s
Mikel319 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Last night we watched a film on Amazon Prime called 'Trapped Ashes'. It's a 2006 low budget movie that tries to be like some of the past anthology horror films like 'Tales from the Crypt' (1972) or 'The House that Dripped Blood' (1971). There is a main story that ties together stories about the different Characters. In this case they are on a movie studio back lot tour. The tour guide is a rather strange man played by Henry Gibson of 'Laugh-in' fame. John Saxon is also in the cast, I'm guessing to make a quick buck. The stories in this are laughably bad at trying to be erotic tales of horror. There is plenty of nudity and sex, not much horror. The silliest story of the bunch is one about a woman that gets breast implants from a very unusual doctor who uses tissue from cadavers. Turns at that the recipients of these transplants become sort of vampires whose boobs have little mouths on them for attacking their victims and sucking their blood. Another story involves a woman who had to share her place in her mother's womb with a tape worm. They somehow become...friends after that and she refers to the worm as her "twin". It's hard to explain and not really worth it. Bottom line, avoid this film except maybe as a curiosity piece.
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