Terror Tales (2016)

Writer-director Jimmy Lee Combs has brought together a cast of actors from films like Friday the 13th, Maniac Cop 1 & 2, The Crazies, Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs, Sleepaway Camp, Critters 2 and more for a new anthology horror movie.

Michael awakens only to realize that he’s been taken by a gun holding maniac (Christoper Showerman from TV’s Supergirl) who reveals that our hero’s wife and daughter are captive in the trailer they’re towing. If he tries to escape in any way, a deadly toxin will be released, so Michael must do everything he’s asked to do, even rob a store.

Along the way, the driver forces Michael to listen to three different stories:

In “By Proxy,” Lynn Lowry (The CraziesShivers) plays a mother that must confront the demonic reasons why her son committed suicide.

“Radical Video” concerns a serial killer named The Sledgehammer (Jonathan Tiersten, Sleepaway Camp) who is killing the patrons of Radical Video in the 1980’s. Keep an eye out for Laurene Landon from Maniac Cop in this one, plus plenty of VHS covers and posters to feast your eyes on.

Finally, in “Epidemic,” a demon (Yan Birch, Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs) uses numerous human beings throughout time as hosts. Helene Udy from the original My Bloody Valentine, Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp and original Jason Ari Lehman from Friday the 13th all make appearances in this gory tale of possession.

Can Michael save his family? Will evil win the day? Well, you’re going to have to watch Terror Tales to get the answer!

I liked the idea behind several of these stories, but felt that it’s two-hour running time could have bee trimmed somewhat or that perhaps one of these stories — particularly the last one — could have held up and been its own movie. There’s some stunt casting here, with the professionals standing head and shoulders above some of the newer talent, but those names are going to be the ones that get most people to rent or buy this.

That said, I really appreciated the production design on the video store set and would love to see what Combs can do with a bigger budget.

Terror Tales is available on VOD starting January 8. For more information, visit the official site.

Disclaimer: I was sent this movie by its PR team and that has no impact on this review.

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