Vampus Horror Tales (2020)

Vampus (Saturnino García, El Dia de la Bestia) digs graves up night for bodies that he opens at night and feeds the interned remains to his pet Toby. And when he’s not doing that, he’s telling stories of horror to you, the viewer. Each of the four horror stories in Vampus Horror Tales are directed by a different first time filmmaker with the wraparound directed by Víctor Matellano and co-writers Victoria Vázquez and Diego Arjona.

“La Boda” is directed and written by Manuel Martínez and is all about the bride Marta and the best man Santi finding themselves trapped in a basement as he attempts to get her to leave the groom at the altar. “Cumpleaños” directed by Erika Elizalde and written by Ignacio López has another couple, Arlin and Daniela trapped inside a carnival ride. “Segunda Cita,” directed and written by Isaac Berrocal, has the blind Margot (Erika Sanz) being menaced by Alex (Nacho Guerreros) on a date at his county house. “Linaje,” by director and writer Piter Moreira, has Marcos (Federico Repetto) dealing with keeping his newly vampiric wife (Vicky Jorge) hidden and fed during a pandemic created by tainted hot dogs.

Inspired by Spanish horror comics and movies of the past, this isn’t perfect — no anthology is — but I was overjoyed to see Paul Naschy (Ignacio López) make an appearance as well as Franco regular Antonio Mayans. I really loved the cannibalistic and dark humored Vampus way more than the stories he tells, which seem to rely on basic horror ideas instead of the self-aware nature of the bookend segments. That said, I like the choice to have everything in black and white. This is still much better — even as it is imperfect — than so many streaming anthologies.

Vampus Horror Tales is available on demand and on digital from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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