I love marathon viewing movies, as someone who suffers from a rather severe case of insomnia coupled with not having need for much sleep i grew up on the practice, sometimes watching up to eight films at a time…unfortunately my practice of waking up at 11:00 am and maybe grabbing a power nap midday has become an impossibility. Being a father of 2 (soon to be 3) children means a mandatory 7:30am wake up call (if I’m lucky) and has sadly made such practices a thing of the past. But there is still one way i can enjoy several stories in one sitting, anthology films.
Anthology films have been a joy of mine since i was a child, something about getting several stories for the price of one always appealed to me and as i’m getting older they’re even more enticing for the reason i listed above and also because they serve to remind me of my glory days telling goofy supposedly scary tales with my friends before bed. There’s something barbarically satisfying about telling a story with the purpose to cause your friends to shit themselves and run home to mommy..does it usually happen that way..No, of course not but it’s the ride getting there that’s the fun and sometimes an unintentionally goofy story can be just as much fun (hell more fun in my opinion) as an extremely scary one. SCARY TALES is as good as an example of this idea as you’re likely to see in recent film.
SCARY TALES follows three friends called out to a fourth mutual friend’s cabin in the woods to stay the night. The host of the get together tells his guests that he’s called them there because he’s about to finalize his divorce and will soon be losing the place to his wife and wants to enjoy it one last time while he still can. The conversation soon turns to the supernatural and the group decides to each share an unseal story with the others.
The first story told is about a brutal and cowardly bully who likes to victimize those smaller and weaker then himself. He’s spent his life building up a list of victims but one day he attacks someone a little too hard and kills the man. In the same day he loses his wife and his job and soon after is visited by a strange man who offers to make it all right if only the bully can best an unknown “big guy” in a fight..but this is no ordinary fight and the bully will soon learn that he’s not the biggest bad ass on the block after all.
The second story focuses around a group of scam artists who decide to go for the gusto, finding their mark in a very rich eccentric with a taste for all things gambling but when they are found out things take a turn for the worst and this group finds out some disgruntled players aren’t so easy to get rid of.
the third story opens with a young woman accosted by her sex starved perverted step father, when her cousin arrives and tries to stop the confrontation and is attacked as well the melee ends with one dead pervert and the two on the run from the police. When the two decide to hole up in a house in the middle of the woods and wait it out they learn the age old rule of horror..if you find a house in the woods it’s best to turn back because nothing good can happen there.
The final story in the film follows a young college student looking for a subject to do his history paper on. When his grandfather (who was silent for years prior) suggests in an ominous and crazy voice that he should do the report on “the devil’s bridge” The boy decides to take his advice, discovering a strange and death ridden history involving sightings of Satan the skeptical young man decides to test the legend himself, crossing the bridge in the hopes to prove the legend is nothing but mass hysteria but the young man gets alot more then he bargained for and finds out that Legends exist for a reason.
Scary Tales is far from scary, In fact it’s silly beyond belief with acting that often comes across as so underplayed or overplayed that it’s beyond comical and garnished some genuine belly laughs from yours truly. The film plays so well with the classic Polonia Brother’s film Night Thirst that it could almost be a sequel, this film will be seen by some as awful but for those of us that grew up watching deliciously corny, cheesy anthology shows like the original Tales from the Dark side and Are You Afraid Of the Dark this flick is a breath of fresh air, it really is. It’s not concerned with being polished or pretty it’s not full of itself and pretentious it just is what it is, a wonderfully bad movie that has one goal TO ENTERTAIN and to that end it is a hundred percent successful. There were still some sound problems with this one but not enough to take away from the story and considering it was made right after FAMILY SECRETS the improvement is huge.
I give this film no middle fingers up, It’s fun, it’s silly and it kept me entertained throughout the entire feature. it may not be Fiddler On The Roof but it doesn’t try to be (Thank God) If you’re a fan of goofy silly and unintentionally funny horror then this one is for you.
Having seen Geno’s previous two films i must admit, that while i sincerely enjoy his work i had seen him as a B-Horror Movie director, not that this is a bad thing, in fact in my view, as a huge fan of so bad it’s good cinema that’s a great thing..but when i found out that Geno had made a conspiracy drama..i was skeptical to say the least. I was worried that Geno may not be up to the task of a straight forward film and that if the goofiness from his other films popped up in this one it might ruin the whole thing…boy did i underestimate ol’ Geno
The Lone Gunman is a short conspiracy drama created by Geno for the Operation Paul Revere Short film contest. It tells the story of a reporter and a photographer assigned to interview a family who recently lost a child to a school shooting where a lone gunman and video game fanatic went crazy and opened fire on a group of unsuspecting children.. But while reviewing the pictures he took of the couple during the interview the photographer finds something shocking that will change the lives of the two men and their view of the media and the world around them forever, something so damning it will cost them their very lives.
The Lone Gunman is far removed from Geno’s previous work with a clear, simple yet effective story, serious characters, and great performances from almost every actor involved (there were still a few who need work but these were regulated to the news caster segments and still managed to work well) This film also serves very well as proof that Geno is not a one show man in the least and is very capable of making a good drama/thriller as well as a goofy horror flick. The fact that Geno had the guts and gusto to throw caution to the wind and address such sensitive subject matter is also very admirable, and even those who will think his ideas are crazy should still be able to enjoy this well made little movie. I for one am hoping very much that eventually this idea will be expanded into a feature length film, and it also makes me very excited to see where this film maker will take us next.
I give this film no middle fingers up. it’s enticing, well written, well made and the only thing disappointing is that it had to be over so soon.