Deadtime Stories (1986)

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Overall Rating 49%
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Ranked #7,055
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A babysitting uncle tells his charges three horror stories - about a killer witch, Little Red Riding Hood and a werewolf, and "Goldi Lox" and the three bears. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: July 16, 2007
For some reason, the anthology horror format has pretty much died off in recent years. Sure, we still get a new release every now and again, but it's nowhere near the amount of what we had during the eighties and early nineties. As a bit of a consolation prize, there were a lot of these films released during the eighties, and every couple of months, another long-lost gem finally finds its way to DVD. Tonight's film is Deadtime Stories, and while I wouldn't quite call it a gem, it did have its moments.

The "wraparound story" in this one features an uncle trying to get his nephew to go the hell to bed so that he can watch Mrs. Nude Universe on late-night cable. The nephew has other plans, however, and insists that the uncle spend his evening in the kid's room telling him scary stories so that he can drift off to sleep. This leads us to our stories, and they go a little something like this...

Story #1
A young man is sold into slavery, and the buyers of this slave just so happens to be a pair of witches who want nothing more than to bring their dead sister back to life. In order to do this, they must murder a priest and a shapely local woman for their spell, an act which our leading man isn't too happy about. He eventually takes a liking to the little lady that is set to be killed, and together, the two decide to turn on the witches and put an end to their wicked spell.

Much like the next story, there's technically nothing wrong with this one: it tells a decent story, shows off some decent effects, and features massive amounts of medieval cleavage. The acting is decent and so is the dual ending (both the "happy" ending and the "sad" ending), but the problem is the amount of "decent" aspects to be found in the piece. Nothing in this story is great or even above average, and the result is about a half hour of film that is just there - it tells the story and shows us the visuals, but you'll probably have forgotten about it before the credits roll. That's not a bad thing.

Story #2
A modern day version of "Little Red Riding Hood", this one tells the tale of Rachel (Nicole Picard), a teenage girl whose grandmother has sent her to the local pharmacist in order to pick up some medicine. Unbeknownst to Rachel, however, this particular pharmacist is more than a little crooked, and he supplements his income by selling pharmaceutical drugs to shady characters. On this fine spring day, the dealer just so happens to be in the middle of an illegal transaction when Rachel walks in, and to make a long story short, a moment of confusion by the dealer results in Rachel winding up with the "hard" drugs while the junkie ends up with a bottle of Geritol or something. To make things interesting, we soon discover that the junkie is actually a werewolf who has been taking these illegal drugs in order to keep his lycanthropy at bay... and now that he no longer has the medicine to control it, it's only a matter of time before he turns into a flesh-hungry beast. Oh, and guess which house he goes to first? You'd be correct if you said "Rachel's", "in order to get his medicine back", and "he doesn't quite get it in time."

This one actually sounds good on paper, but the execution of things is what hurts it. You see, just like in the previous piece, it's content to simply tell the story and be done with things - there's just nothing memorable about it whatsoever. It plays out exactly like you think it would, and by the time the "surprise" ending rolls around (it's only a surprise if you haven't read the original story), viewers are likely to simply yawn and see how much more of the film they'll have to sit through. Thankfully, the best was saved for last...

Story #3
Another fairy tale told in modern times, this one takes its inspiration from "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." However, in this version of the story, the three "Baers" - led by Judith 'MaMa' Baer (Melissa Leo) - happen to be a trio of lunatics who have escaped from the local "Home for the Hopelessly Insane", while Goldi Lox (Cathryn de Prume) is a psychotic serial killer who possesses amazing psychic powers which helps her in her murderous ways. What will happen when they all inevitably meet up? Will there be a massive shootout with tons of gore, or will they decide to team up and work together? The latter is most likely, and it's actually a pretty impressive story.

The first two stories had bits and pieces of "wink wink, nudge nudge" moments in an attempt to be humorous, but for the most part, they were straightforward horror tales. This one, however, goes way over the top in its indulgence of campy fun and transforms this traditional tale into something that really has to be seen to be believed. There's some great kill sequences courtesy of Goldi, the jokes are funny, and the acting is spot-on for this type of thing, and everything in here just works. Also, an interesting point of interest would be the comparisons that could be made between Goldi and Baby from House of 1000 Corpses - while I wouldn't go so far as to make an assumption here, I wouldn't be shocked in the least to discover that Rob based his character on the lady found here.

The final story is great, but it's up to you to determine whether or not the one piece of goodness can make up for the preceding average-at-best offerings. 5/10, but that would have been a lot lower without the Goldi Lox story.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added July 19, 2007 at 9:34am
I'm sorry... these were just... bad. Terrible acting, the stories went NOWHERE, and, worst of all, we didn't even get any nudity during the "Little Red Riding Hood" story... ya know, with an intro like the uncle gave you couldn't help but expect more. 1.1/10
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