[31 Days of Horror: The Final Chapter] Day 4 – Tales of Halloween (2015)

 

Directors: Darren Lynn Bousman, Axelle Carolyn, Adam Gierasch, Andrew Hasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet

Cast: Adrienne Barbeau Grace Phipps, Lin Shaye, Booboo Stewart, Caroline Williams, Barbara Crampton, Greg Grunberg

Screenplay: Axelle Carolyn, Dave Parker, Clint Sears, Greg Commons, Lucky McKee, Molly Millions, John Skipp, Andrew Kasch, Mike Mendez, Ryan Schifrin, Neil Marshall

92 mins. Rated R for strong bloody horror violence throughout, language and brief drug use.

 

Okay, not a ton of time tonight so I will make it quick. Go to Netflix and watch Tales of Halloween. I’m not suggesting it because it’s perfect, but it is a hell of a lot of fun.

Tales of Halloween is an anthology of ten shorts all centered around the same town on Halloween night. Characters intersect occasionally throughout, and a lot of people are watching Night of the Living Dead. The tone is mostly horror comedy but each short feels all its own while still belonging to the collection. There are tremendously talented people both in front of and behind the camera, like directors Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Abattoir) and Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion).

I won’t get into what each short’s plot is, it is far more fun to see it all, but they are mostly independent while still serving a larger mythos, primarily aided by a Radio DJ (Adrienne Barbeau, The Fog, Beyond the Edge) and other elements. Most anthologies live by the “not-all-of-them-will-be-good syndrome” which is also true to this one, but unlike other anthologies, these pieces are less than ten minutes, so if you don’t like one, it doesn’t take away from the experience. The one unholy flaw of this film is the awful animated credits piece which feels ripped out of Creepshow III. The opening introduces the titles of each tale and its director, but I would have rather seen that before each piece begins in order to separate them more.

Tales of Halloween is imperfect, but dammit I enjoyed myself. There is a lot to love here (and a little to despise) but all well-attempted nonetheless. Check this one out as it will still likely be on Netflix.

 

3.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Devil’s Carnival, click here.

For my review of Lucky McKee’s The Woman, click here.

For my review of Mike Mendez’s Big Ass Spider!, click here.

[31 Days of Horror 3] Day 2 – Leprechaun 3 (1995)

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Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Cast: Warwick Davis, John Gatins, Lee Armstrong, Caroline Williams, Marcelo Tubert, John DeMita, Michael Callan, Tom Dugan

Screenplay: David DuBos

90 mins. Rated R for some strong horror violence and gore, and a scene of sexuality.

 

I wanted to ensure that I got the time this season to review the best in horror. I wanted to review the highest-selling direct-to-video release of 1995. I wanted to talk about Warwick Davis’ favorite Leprechaun film. Though not the best in horror, Leprechaun 3 does lay claim to the rest of these accolades. But I wouldn’t call it good. I imagine that Lee Armstrong would agree with me, as she retired with only 3 acting credits to her name after completing this film. Let’s take a look.

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Leprechaun 3 follow another greedy little Leprechaun (Warwick Davis, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) who is awakened in Las Vegas. He comes across college student Scott McCoy (John Gatins, Real Steel, Need for Speed) and magician’s assistant Tammy Larsen (Lee Armstrong, Magic Island). Now, with the Leprechaun’s wish-granting gold spread out among the casino, all bets are off. Scott and Tammy must track down a rare medallion capable to defeating the Leprechaun before Scott succumbs to a terrible curse.

This is bad, real bad. And, to be fair, it’s one of the best of the bad. But still bad. Real bad. The Leprechaun’s powers are never really outlined, and it seems like he should be unstoppable, but yet he is constantly kept at bay. Then, there’s the question of his mystical coins, which again, have never been seen to grant wishes, though I suppose this is a different Leprechaun than the ones seen in previous installments. And what about the weird sequence of events that begins when the Leprechaun bleeds green oozy blood all over Scott, causing him to slowly turn into the most hillbilliest of Leprechaun creatures. Where the hell did this come from? I can settle for the weird amulet that turns him back to stone, but the rest of this just comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere.

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It’s bad. Real bad. But its fun. Just not real fun. Leprechaun 3 is the kind of film you would expect from this series. Not really getting great, but at least it isn’t worse. For now.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

 

For my review of Mark Jones’ Leprechaun, click here.

For my review of Rodman Flender’s Leprechaun 2, click here.

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