VIDEO SHOP TALES OF TERROR **** UK 2023 Dir: Alexander Churchyard, Max Davenport, Mj Dixon, Andrew Elias, Michael Fausti, Geoff Harmer, Tony Mardon, Sam Mason-Bell and Thomas Lee Rutter. 116 mins
VIDEO SHOP TALES OF TERROR is an anthology horror that delves into the dark corners of a sinister video rental store that is a portal to six hellish tales.
“Fleurs du Mal” is a tale cut short that focuses on a 19th century asylum where a patient believes she is a time traveller. I did find this a little too short as extra time would have allowed for a little more complexity. The majority of the segments make up for this, being just the right length to hold my attention and deliver a good storyline. The writing links each segment, with the Video Shop wraparound bringing it all together.
For this, thanks must go to producer Singh Lall whose imagination brought the video shop to life. The shop setting brings all the nostalgia of video rental stores, where I spent too much time during my teens, renting horrors that I was probably too young for.
Thanks to Lall’s frequenting of some of the UK’s best horror film festivals, some of the best directors in British horror were eager to come aboard, each telling their own grim tale with hints of classic 80s horror with throwbacks to films such as The Evil Dead (1981). “Mary Whitehouse, You’re A C***” is especially a throwback to this era, with a group of friends watching a horror film at home that leads to plenty of cheese and gore.
“Egghead” focuses on a doctor who seeks revenge after a botched plastic surgery, creating a gory rampage that had some hilarious effects.
Michael Fausti’s “Vergessen” with it’s World War II theme. This seemed a far cry from the likes of Fausti’s ‘Exit’, although did have a more serious tone than previous segments.
With the likes of Laurence R Harvey of The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (2011) fame, along with Dani Thompson and Ayvianna Snow, this segment has plenty of talent to showcase the horrors of war. It did however provide some light moments as Thompson, Snow and Roe Haven attempt to seduce some of the German operatives. The entire film was of similar quality with it’s actors and filmmakers creating something special.
Overall, Video Shop Tales Of Terror is an enjoyable anthology, with all involved seemingly having a great time. It provides a great sense of nostalgia with both grim and outrageous moments.
Review by Poppy Blundell
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