Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories - Verite Cinema
Written by Richard Taylor   
Friday, 18 November 2016
Review of Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories on Severed Cinema

AKA: Volumes of Blood 2

Directed by: Sean Blevins (Trick Or Treat), John Wiliam Holt (Feeding Time). Jon Maynard (Blood Bath), Nathan Thomas Milliner (Murder, Death , Killer and Fear, For Sinners Here), Justin M. Seaman (The Deathday Party), James Treakle (A Killer House). P.J. Starks (Haters)
Written by: Sean Blevins, Nathan Thomas Milliner, P.J. Starks, Jason Turner
Produced by: P.J. Starks, Eric Huskisson, David Justice
Cinematography by: Alexander Clark, John William Holt, Austin Madding
Editing by: Sean Blevins, John William Holt, Jon Maynard, Nathan Thomas Milliner
Music by: Josh Coffey, Rocky Gray, Mikel Shane Prather
Special Effects by: Cassandra Baker, Alexis Dahl, Lisa Duvall, Josh Morris
Cast: Barbie Clark, Thomas Dunbar, Aric Stanish, Nathan Thomas Milliner, Gerrimy Keiffer, Kevin Roach, Christopher Bower, Jacob Ewers, Erin Troutman, Caleb Shore, Shelby Taylor Mullins, Tj Williams, Kevin Arnold, Bridgette Michelle Hoover, Cassandra Baker, Chad Benefield
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Color: Color
Language: English
Runtime: 1hr 58mins

Studio: Verite Cinema

The original Volumes of Blood (review here) was a decent collection of horror shorts. It was not big on originality but entertaining enough. Some stuff worked better than others, and to tie it all together we were given a wraparound story in a library.  All of the events take place in Owensboro Kentucky and it seems they were a close knit community during the shoot.

With this return to the Volumes of Blood saga, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, the community of Owenboro is once again the center of the short horror stories. This time Verite Cinema has upped the ante and improved on the original. The audience gets a major increase in the gore department with a strict and respectable utilization on practical gore effects, and itís done very well with extreme passion. Some of the stories are more fleshed out and original, and the production has taken it to a higher level with an overall sleek professional look and quality.

This time we get a bunch of shorts that sometimes may leave the viewer scratching their head in terms of chronological flow. There is so much going on in this movie that repeated viewings are necessary to take it all in. We get different homages to the original Volumes of Blood, and classic horror films in general, but pay close attention to the details of the shorts as they all tie together in the end... somehow.

All the stories revolve around a particular house which appears to be a wraparound story once you get past the first two shorts. Confused yet? The filmmakers almost try to smack you in the face with "We are trying to be clever and original, love us!!!!" Did I mention the intro to the film, which is basically them saying: Respect us and this fucking movie -- we worked hard on it! Itís a bit of a pompous endeavor putting that up at the very beginning like that.

All bullshit aside, the first short is by Nathan Thomas Milliner who did a cool flick I reviewed a while ago, titled A Wish for the Dead (review here), and it must have been good because I actually remember it quite well. A Wish for the Dead played out as a serious drama, connecting all the characters in the story, until the full assault of the conclusion ensued and changed the pace of the movie drastically -- in a good way of course.

Milliner's opener, Murder, Death, Killer, has the subtle title going for it. We get three characters who arrive at a warehouse with a plan to rip off one of their employers. As the sun goes down, one of them weaves a tale of Atticus Crow, a man who was wrongfully killed by the company he worked for due to various woes with his superiors. Predictably ol' Atticus arrives to stalk and slash the three goobers who, unsurprisingly, don't make it out of there by dark, even though one of them specifically stated to do so. This plays out as a basic slasher short. The gore is well done in the kill scenes, and Atticus Crow looks like a cool demonic scarecrow. I'm assuming they were going for a basic slasher feel for this opening short because it serves as an intro of sorts to the anthology.

The second short, Haters, serves as a segue, or false start of a wraparound story. Two goofy horror fans get kicked out of a movie theater and insult one of the workers there. Letís just say that sometimes it pays to be nice to people, or just don't say anything at all because itís safer that way in today's fucked up society. You don't know what freak will pull a knife or a gun on you.

Then we get into what seems like the main wraparound story, in which the rest of the movies tales stem from.  This one is called Killer House, but before it unfolds, it introduces the rest of the shorts. In Killer House a real estate agent is showing a house to a couple. As they go through the house, different items and rooms bring different stories. All these shorts take place, or are involved in some way with this house.

The short, Trick or Treat, focuses on a sinister madman who goes on a killing spree at the library, similar to the first Volumes of Blood. Another killer is also roaming the neighbourhood, and seriously asking the question ďTrick or TreatĒ to the inhabitants of the houses he visits, and whatever answer you give decides which side of his weapon he's going to use on you. Feeding Time is about a down on his luck salesman. During a potential sale going door to door, a young woman really just wants him to help her stop the "monster" in her closet from harming her. The next short, Blood Bath, has a young couple trying to conceive a baby but the guy has forgotten to take his meds and the bathroom turns into a literal, bloodbath.

Probably the best short in the collection is done by Nathan Thomas Milliner, and his second on here. Fear, For Sinners Here is done so well because itís interesting and doesn't quite let up with what is going on exactly from the start -- it leaves you guessing. It features a distraught woman on Christmas Eve frantically wrapping presents and gulping down glasses of red wine, not to mention, strangely beating the crap out of a particular toy that she comes across whilst wrapping gifts for her son. This is my favorite in probably both of the Volumes of Blood films combined, and is worth watching through some of the other mediocre ones. Nathan Thomas Milliner is a director to be watched closely by, just checking out this short alone. Fear, For Sinners Here is disturbing, suspenseful and has that great twist everyone is looking for but it works well, and the shortís delivery is on point in all aspects of what horror shorts aspire to be.

Finally, we get The Deathday Party, and it plays out as a demented black humor piece, as an older sadistic couple celebrate the husbandís birthday by killing their annoying neighbors, while more captives remained tied up in their basement for later festivities. The Deathday Party is probably one of the weaker shorts in the film, as the humor and story just doesn't work, although some of the gore gags are surprisingly gruesome and well done. Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is an entertaining collection of horror shorts but it does go on for too long. It seems like they wanted to cram in as much material in this film as they could, and it can get muddled. If youíre into anthologies, then Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories will satisfy your demented lust for the genre.

 

 

 

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 RATING:
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Last Updated ( Friday, 18 November 2016 )