Hi-Death (2018)

From the makers of 2013’s Hi-8, this movie promises five new twisted tales showcasing the talents of both veteran and emerging horror filmmakers. It all starts when two young women take the “Terror Tour” through the underbelly of Hollywood, leading them into a world of pure horror. This opening is written and directed by Brad Sykes, who was behind the first two Camp Blood movies.

The first story, “Death Has a Conscience,” is all about a new drug called Spit and how death itself comes to visit one of its users. This one comes from Anthony Catanese, who directed Sodomaniac and the upcoming Teenage Bloodsuckin’ Bimbos.

“Dealers of Death” is all about a collector of serial killer memorabilia who gets way to close to his hobby. Tim Ritter is behind this segment and his credits stretch back until the 1980’s with writing, acting, directing and producing credits on a ton of small horror projects.

“Night Drop” comes from Amanda Payton, who produced 2019’s Clownado, a film that has an audacious concept. Here, strange things happen at a video store after closing time. There are some great visuals here that seem inspired by Fulci’s City of the Living Dead with the entire concept taken from Ringu.

Brad Sykes comes back to direct “Cold Read,” which stars Julia Valley (she’s shown up in the new season of What We Do In the Shadows) and Fabiana Formica, who you may remember as Valentina from Michele Soavi’s Cemetery Man. This entire segment is the most professional looking of the film, appearing to have quality and direction that makes it seem like it comes from a completely different universe from some of the earlier stories.

“The Muse” is a riff on H.P. Lovecraft as told by Todd Sheets, the writer and director of the aforementioned Clownado as well as several other horror movies stretching the whole way back to 1985 like Dreaming Purple Neon and the Zombie Bloodbath series.

As always, anthology films can be a mixed bag. Sadly, some of the stories here depend on cheap video effects that anyone with an iPhone can create and wipe transitions that George Lucas would think were too much. I barely made it through some of the segments, which seemed like the kind of films that you’d see in a horror convention contest versus an actual movie that you’d pay money for. That said, if you’re a fan of ultra-low budget digital video down and dirty horror filmmaking, you may enjoy this.

Wild Eye Releasing will release Hi-Death on disc, digital and limited edition VHS June 10. For more information, visit the official Facebook page.

DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie by its PR company. That has no impact on our review.

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