Deadtime Stories (2009 and 2011)

I characterize George Romero’s post-Creepshow output the same way that I do Lucio Fulci’s post Manhattan Baby output, except that, you know, I actually like some of what Fulci did. His films feel like a man struggling for relevance, falling back on outdated tropes and the same old, same old one more time.

But man, as rough as Fulci’s life got, he never started a middling anthology film off with absolutely dreadful dialogue like “Now I lay me down to rest, but there’s a goblin upon my chest. He’s grey and ugly and very gory and he wants to tell me a deadtime story.”

For shame.

The first film has three stories:

  • Valley of the Shadow, in which a woman takes people into the jungle on a cursed trip to find her missing husband)
  • Wet, the story of digging up a mermaid
  • Housecall, which has a doctor visit a boy who claims to be a vampire.

At least Tom Savini directed the last story and tried. The rest of this, put together by Michael Fischa (My Mom’s A Werewolf) and Jeff Monhahan, who appeared in Romero’s films Two Evil Eyes and Bruiser, made me question just how bad movies can be and I just spent a week watching every Bruno Mattei film I could get my hands on.

The second film finds Fischa and Monahan returning to direct a segment each, with Matt Walsh directing another.

Sadly, it’s no better:

  • The Gorge is about three friends whose hiking trip ends in an avalanche and cannibalism.
  • On Sabbath Hill is the closest the film gets to something unique with a tale of a professor’s dead girlfriend coming back to haunt him.
  • Dust has a doctor discovering that Mars dust can cute cancer and the security guard who steals his breakthrough.

I really hope that Romero at least got some money for these films, because I see no reason that he should be involved in these pictures. I struggled to get through these. Don’t make the same error that I did.

Tubi has Deadtime Stories: Volume 1 and Deadtime Stories: Volume 2 streaming for free, just in case you don’t believe me.

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