Anthologies are all the rage in the fright flick biz these days…or they were at one point…it doesn’t really matter because I’m taking a look at one today, and then I’m gonna tell you if it’s hit or shit with my normal award losing candor…so yeah…10/31!!
10/31 begins with some trick or treaters parkin’ their ass in front of the boob tube (and in this case that term is apt because they are watching bosomy horror hostess Malvolia’s horror marathon) where they view the various and sundry terror tales…like the one that leads off this affair; The Old Hag!
Hag concerns the trials and tribulations of two dudes aiming to film a promo video for an old mansion that’s been turned into a dead…err bed and breakfast. Well, lo and behold, one of our heroes keeps seeing visions of a gnarly ol’ bat…the same demonic dame that the locals say was a murder machine way back when. Things of course go south rather quickly, and a ghoulish time is had by all…well viewers that is. Likable leads, a great Gothic location, and kick ass make-up on the titular creature make this one a winner for your’s cruelly.
Moving on we have Trespassers; a yarn featuring a young couple lookin’ to have the ever lovin’ turd scared out of them on Halloween night. To achieve this they visit ye olde local murder house where legend has it a scarecrow appeared and cursed everyone…as you do. Again, things go about as well as can be expected. As with the previous entry, top notch monster design makes this one a real good ‘un. Also of note is the rad ’80’s style synth score that really makes this one seem like a low budget shocker you’d rent on VHS (Google it kids), and a nice sense of mythology behind the scarecrow.
Next we have Killing the Dance; the story of a surly teen babysitting her younger brother at a roller rink…a roller rink that harbors a ludicrously attired (in a good way) slasher. This one may seem a bit of a mixed bag as this segment could have been trimmed back a hair, ‘cuz the scenes of excessive roller skating make this akin to a bra on prom night…padded. But, besides that lil’ qualm, the idea of a roller skating slasher is a novel one, there is some excellent gore on display, and yet another fantastic synth score thunders forth; all of which equals a great time overall…but the real cherry on top is this one’s ending; which is hands down my favorite part of the whole film…truly awesome job on that one!
Following that we have The Halloween Blizzard of ’91 the scintillating narrative of a family trapped inside during a raging snowstorm on Halloween (‘natch). Soon shit goes completely sideways when Santa Claus (yeah who knows) and a trio of otherworldly trick or treaters start messing up our heroes six ways to Sunday. Overall, this was just an average entry; there was some good eerie atmosphere here and there; but nothing really exciting happens (although I really liked the outre masked children). Also, there is an absolutely groan inducing bit of product placement in the film as the characters are seen playing the Volumes of Blood card game (the game is based on a film by the producers of this flick), and the accompanying dialog is atrocious. That shit’s gotta go (it won’t, but it should).
Last up is The Samhain Slasher; the story of an escaped serial killer running amok at a costume party on a stormy night…a party overshadowed by some sinister occult trappings. Solid gore (even with some dodgy CG), atmospheric aesthetics, and another great score (one that really pays homage to the Carpenter vibe this piece displays along with some great metal tunes) make this a lively stalk n’ slash affair.
10/31 is an arcane anthology well worth your time with some truly great segments (Trespassers, The Old Hag, and Killing the Dance), one solid slasher (The Samhain Slasher), and one so-so supernatural romp (The Halloween Blizzard of ’91) and no clunkers. Feast your putrid peepers on it ASAP my creeps!