Friday, March 28, 2014

Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Horror legend Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night, Psycho II, HBO’s Tales from the Crypt) dares you to join him for nine nerve-shredding, totally Twisted Tales. Serving up a mind-bending assortment of the macabre, it’s an anthology of darkness and dread fine-tuned to keep you on the edge of your seat. A new drug offers users a glimpse of the future… with beastly consequences. A murderous husband is stalked by his own cell phone. A jilted lover wreaks satanic vengeance. The nightmarish action then leads to worlds haunted by dark magic, demonic possession, vampires, witches and more in this seriously freaky festival of fear.

Film (3 out of 5 stars)
These tales were definitely twisted. I thought they’d be a little scarier, but no. They seemed to be the kind of stories in one of the kids urban legends books. Some of the acting was not very good, but all were entertaining. Every story was written and directed by Tom Holland and he introduced each one. He was involved with Tales from the Crypt and it’s easy to see why. Many of the stories could have been on that show, back in the day. Here's the list of episodes:
  1. Fred and His GPS – Fred gets in his car and asks his GPS for directions to the airport. He’s clearly upset, and when his GPS starts talking back to him, confesses to murdering his wife. Whether he is hallucinating or not, remains to be seen as his GPS begins replaying conversations his wife had with him and with others.
  2. To Hell with You – In a restaurant, a guy breaks up with his girlfriend and leaves her at the table. As she’s about to leave, she is approached by a strange man offering to help her get revenge. She agrees and signs on the dotted line. Her second thoughts come too late and makes another deal with the man… take her to his boss or make everything the way it was. He initially agrees to take her to his boss, but then decides to put everything back.
  3. Boom – A bomb disposal expert, thinking his best friend and his wife start having an affair, comes up with an elaborate bomb and tricks his friend into hitting the start switch. While his friend holds the switch, he convinces him and his wife, who is tied up in the room, to confess. What they tell him may or may be the whole truth.
  4. Mongo’s Magick Mirror – A magician convinces another magician to show him his magic mirror. When you step through it, the mirror shows you the best or the worst of yourself. People who step through don’t always come back.
  5. Bite – A group of kids tries the hot, new drug that supposedly shows you the future. After getting high on it, news reports are telling them that people are going crazy and changing. People are describing them as wolves and in their panic, they begin believing it. After the newscasters identify the cause as the new drug, the kids begin changing, too.
  6. Shockwave – In Los Angeles, a dinner party is interrupted by an explosion in the Pacific. As the shockwave takes over the world, the members of the dinner party argue over who will save themselves in the panic room. The panic room only holds two people, so who is it going to be?
  7. Cached – Two hoodlums are walking down the street when a man runs passed them. They notice he’s carrying a tablet of some sort and decide to rob him. In an alley, the man stops, picks up a bottle and starts yelling at an invisible foe. The guy kills himself and the hoodlums steal the tablet off the dead body. Once home, one of the hoodlums opens the tablet and sees a man on the screen. The man says the hoodlum has to play the game and gives him a head start. Does the hoodlum survive? Or does the man in the tablet get him?
  8. The Pizza Guy – Broken into chapters, this story revolves around Emily’s desire to see her dead sister again. After finding a book at a garage sale, Emily draws a pentagram on the floor and reads from the book. Moments later, a pizza guy shows up with an unordered pizza. Emily believes that the pizza guy is the devil and her friends think she is hallucinating. They (and the pizza guy) try convincing her that he is not the devil, but she is convinced he is.
  9. Vampire’s Dance – A girl enters a club looking for her roommate. She notices a few strange things going on, but when she tries to warn the other dancers, it’s revealed that many of them are vampires.
Video (2 ½ out of 5 stars)
Twisted Tales is presented in a wide screen 1.78.1 aspect ratio. Some of the scenes were blurry and cloudy. The special effects for many of the stories were cheesy and looked fake. Especially the blood. In The Pizza Guy, the fingers and blood effects were terribly done, in Vampire’s Dance, the blood was way too red and unrealistic, and in Bite, the effects were so terrible that punches, bites and scratches were not even landed before characters went flying.
Audio (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio in Twisted Tales was pretty good. I could hear everything and nothing was too loud or too quiet. There is no way to adjust it in on the disc or have other options for audio and there are no subtitles.
Extras (1 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The only special features are a few featurettes on the making of a few of the stories: The Making of Boom, The Making of Mongo’s Magick Mirror, The Making of Shockwave, The Making of Cached and The Making of The Pizza Guy. Basically, interviews with Tom Holland and members of the cast of each story. I really didn’t care about these, because the stories were already so short, they really didn’t add anything.
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Twisted Tales is a good compilation of short stories that were entertaining and a little weird. Each one was vastly different and touched on the strange things that people do and are creeped out about: werewolves, vampires, magicians, bombs, the apocalypse, etc. What creeps you out?

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