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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review of the independent horror anthology Slices

SLICES is a Anthology horror movie in the vein of such films as THE TWILIGHT ZONE or the CREEPSHOW series—five different stories, five different styles with a wrap around that ties all of them together. The bumper segment was actually entertaining. It shows a guy who is an insomniac and he is trying different remedies to be able to sleep through the night but the lines between reality and fantasy are starting to blur. Without having any luck getting to sleep, he turns on the TV and watches Theater Of The Macabre. The host, Lucius Phibes, and the show reminded me of the horror host programs that would have been on syndicated TV back in the 70's.

The Exterminator, is very much in the style of SAW or HOSTEL. A secret organization known as "Q" takes care of overpopulation in this country. The agents are known as Exterminators and it is their job to eliminate people deemed as disposable by the state. The magic number that the population needs to stay under is 300 million. But when one of the bosses finds out he is on "The List", his tune changes very quickly. This story immediately had my attention as a lot of conspiracy theorists believe this is really happening as we speak. A really good concept that has been done before but I like the horror twist in this short. This story features a really wicked torture scene. The acting was really good in this one for the most part, with the boss played by Chuck Williams, giving a very believable performance as he gets electrocuted and tortured in other various ways.

The Range, is a period piece set in 1880’s Old West. It features three Confederate soldiers on the run who end up killing an Indian when they cannot communicate with him. Watching the hillbillies try to talk to the Indian was priceless though, I almost spit out my Mountain Dew. But that night, they and two other groups of people have to deal with a meteor that is turning people into zombies. Could it be the work of the dead Indian? The standout here was the confederate Colonel played by Bret Culpepper. His accent and mannerisms made for a good modern day spaghetti western.

Turnout involves a young couple in love. They were introduced by a mutual friend who takes them into the woods so the guy can propose. Too bad the three of them are not alone... The acting in this story was OK, no real standouts. The story of a crazy person in the wilderness has never really interested me, however, it was done better in an episode of Walker Texas Ranger.

Night Scream is a vampire tale that suffered a little from bad acting. It wasn't all bad as the plot had a real 80's cheese vibe. A girl named Sandra, who is pretty beat up and is ranting about everyone dying, gets taken in by a group of kids at an isolated cabin. Of course they didn't call to get help for the shaken Sandra, instead it is decided she should stay with them for the night. Yeah, that doesn't go too well for them... I have always been a fan of vampire films but I think it struggled with the fact that it was a short story and not a feature length film. Some stories just need more time to tell.

Dead Letters was a very entertaining story about a washed up writer named Ash, played by Dan Lookabill, who still can't cope with the death of his wife two years prior. He gets a package that contains a typewriter that seems to mold reality into whatever he writes. Does he get what he wants most? More importantly, is it real or a figment of his fractured psyche? Dan Lookabill was the star of the whole movie to me. His part as grieving widower was dead on. In a way, his attitude reminded me of Tom Atkins, he had the same tough guy vibe.

This was the first indie anthology film I have watched, and I really liked it. The Exterminator and Dead Letters were my favorite stories. Both had good acting and entertaining plot lines and would have made good episodes of The Twilight Zone. I love Creepshow and have seen that film many times and I would rank Slices right up there with it. Overall, the stories were original, the camera work was great, the make up was among the best in indie film, and the acting was about as good as you would see in most independent horror. I recommend Slices and give it a 7/10.

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