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Some formerly hot directors worked on, but don't bring a lot to, the various stories. Joe Dante (Gremlins) directed the scenes set at the movie studio and in the haunted house. Ken Russell (Women in Love; Altered States) makes a complete mess of a story about a starlet who gets breast implants that turn out to be livelier than she expected. Sean S Cunningham (Friday the 13th) directs a well told story about an American and his wife whose trip to Japan is a less than relaxing vacation. Monte Hellman (The Shooting; Two Lane Blacktop) contributes a story about Hollywood in the 1950's that strongly hints at being about reclusive director Stanley Kubrick. And John Gaeta, previously known for his work on special effects for films such as The Matrix, directs an incredibly bad story about a young woman and the parasite that grew in the womb beside her when she was a baby.
Performances are all over the place. Most of the actors are fairly wooden, although in their defense the writing is amateurish and they had little to work with.
Worse yet, the film has a split personality. Horror movie one minute, then very soft core porn, then back to horror again. It's like watching TV late at night with a defective remote that switches between Chiller and Cinemax After Dark at random.
It was good to see a couple of familiar cases in the cast, both of whom deserve better: Henry Gibson from Laugh-In and John Saxon. Acting is like any other job: you go where the work is.
This is a satisfyingly sexual horror anthology with a glitzy glittery Hollywood bouquet with notes of Eat, Starry Eyed, Mulholland Drive and even Inland Empire. While not quite as potent as, say, a Little Deaths, they have in common sleazy, shadowy, lurid, sexually mature anthological flavor; on the other hand, it has a robust Chaucerian cohesiveness that Little Deaths lacks—like Cantebury Tales or even more Neil Gaimen's graphic novel Worlds' End, part of the Sandman series that deserves a cinematic uncorking sometime soon after Sandman's scheduled cinematic debut and are you not FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT THAT? but I digress. I invite you to enjoy this delectable anthological mélange.
'Trapped Ashes' is a 'horror' anthology with each episode cut by a different director. There's an awful lot of sex on show, but not much original, inventive horror, and the main reason for this is a limp and gawky script by the otherwise fabulously named Dennis Bartok.
You know Ken Russell's segment isn't going to be out and out gore, but a glance at his back-catalogue reveals the guy's no stranger to extreme imagery, and as you'd expect, his piece is the most successful.
'The Girl With The Gold Breasts' makes the most of a weak conceit, and it's to Russell's great credit that he turns such an uneventful story into something so watch-able;
A wannabe Hollywood actress, undergoing a routine cosmetic procedure, receives vampire breasts. When she complains, we get to see Russell and two other old guys, dressed in very disturbing drag, eventually revealing they have splendid vampire breasts as well!
That's it. It's funny, quite bizarre, and you're left scratching your head a bit afterwards.
'TGWTGB' shows Russell's imagination is as warped and impish as ever, and an interview on the 'special features' reveals him to be cheerfully demented.
The other three films are no-where near as solid. Sean S. Cunningham's is a kind of live-action/Manga hybrid set around a Buddhist temple with plenty of sex as you'd expect, but not much chills.
Monte Hellman's piece seems to be a thesis on why Kubrick left for Europe in the 60's; his girlfriend was a witch apparently.
The final story by John Gaeta, an fx man, about a goth's relationship with the tape-worm she was forced to share her mother's belly with, has at least the embryo (apologgys droogies) of a good idea, but the climax is so obvious it falls straight off the screen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
super boring sexist hollywood s*** - zero attempts to be atl scary, or funny, just paint by numbers crap. sad to see talented people waste their time on insulting dreck like thisPublished 13 months ago by Kekone
Just piss poor writing; absurd and ridiculous beyond belief.
It's sad that Henry Gibson; formerly a major star of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In had to lower himself into taking... Read more
I really don't understand myself sometimes. Why would I watch this "horror anthology" in its entirety? Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ms. Le Chat
If you liked 'Tales From The Darkside', you'll like these. Plus, they all have a sexual twist to them. Not really horror, in my horror-obsessed opinion. Read morePublished 21 months ago by KimberlyP
Had potential and the concept of a desolated movie studio vip tour was a good one, however, the vignettes end up being pretty bland. Several veteran actors and some newbies. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Ron Baker
There were some minor moments, and the anthology attempts to mix sex with horror (you know, the typical "selling" combination), but it fails pretty miserably. Read morePublished on June 14, 2014 by dlrife1965