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Terror Tales - Movie Review

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Terror Tales (2019) - Movie Review

Beginning with a crackling version of “House of the Rising Sun” playing in the background, Terror Tales gets off to a jolly GREAT start.  We are immediately thrust into a family discussion as one teenager dares comparing getting high to Justin Bieber with getting high to Led Zeppelin and her parents, rightly so, attempt to clarify her way of thinking.  This argument is witty and zippy and brings us right into Terror Tales, a free-spirited horror romp.

And then, as we settle into the discussion with a warning from mom, the unthinkable happens.  Those parents talking with their daughter are going to soon have a run in with FATE thanks to the stark-raving mad tales from a psychopath (Christopher Showerman). 

"Terror Tales is a virtual Who’s Who of Horror and Slasher Film cameos.  Blink and you will miss all the winks, nods, and crooked fingers stretching back to the films of yore."

When we return to the main events, the father, now handcuffed in the passenger seat and forced to endure gloveboxes full of scorpions, must listen to three tales of horror and do anything the man requests, even if it means breaking the law.  The consequences of not doing any of what this crazy man demands means that his wife and daughter, now located in an attached cargo trailer, will be exposed to a deadly toxin.

Written and directed by Jimmy Lee Combs, Terror Tales is an anthology of horror that brings all sorts of horror alumni under its blood-soaked tent.  From Friday the 13th, Maniac Cop, George Romero's The Crazies, Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs, Sleepaway Camp, and Critters 2, the talent assembled here is pretty damn incredible.  The movie, while long, aims to scare us and give us a bit of life lessons, a mixture that proves to be satisfying. {googleads}

Outside of the main story, there are three tales of terror that Michael, our father character, is told.  The first one, “By Proxy”, is one of matricide and the consequences therein when one horror writer (Lynn Lowry, Shivers) is visited by her own creation, The Ink Demon (an interesting design), upon her being charged with the murder of her own son.

Unfortunately, there is a bit too much leaning on CGI for some of its gore and its effects, but none of that takes away from the stories included here.  If only these stories were a bit tighter from an editing standpoint, though.  That’s my single criticism.  There, in my mind, is a lot of filler in each of the three tales and that takes away from the movie as a whole and complete experience; clocking in at 2 hours is a bit too much for the horror contained here. 

Terror Tales (2019) - Movie Review

That being said, when Terror Tales hits its stride, namely with the “Radical Video” tale, the film comes to life, nailing its comedy, its horror, and its tone.  In this tale, we have a neon-speckled 1980s setting and an unshaven detective racing to keep a serial killer, The Sledgehammer (Jonathan Tiersten, Sleepaway Camp) from killing more customers of a local video store.  The results are equally as good with the third tale, in which an evil spirit (Yan Birch, The People Under the Stairs) hops from body to body, creating mass hysteria in his wake. 

Co-starring Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop), Jennifer Runyon (Ghostbusters), Ari Lehmann (Friday the 13th), Ashley Park (Rosewood), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), and Helen Udy (The Dead Zone) Terror Tales is a virtual Who’s Who of Horror and Slasher Film cameos.  Blink and you will miss all the winks, nods, and crooked fingers stretching back to the films of yore.

Terror Tales is on VOD January 8 from High Octane Pictures.

3 beers

Terror Tales (2019) - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R.
110 mins
: Jimmy Lee Combs
Jimmy Lee Combs
Jennifer Runyon, Felissa Rose, Laurene Landon
: Horror
Will You Survive the Madness?
Memorable Movie Quote: "You should know me by now. My stories never have happy endings."
High Octane Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 8, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Abducted by a psychopath, a husband is taken on a ride from hell where he is subjected to three horrific tales of terror while his family is held captive in an attached cargo trailer.


Terror Tales (2019) - Movie Review


Blu-ray Details:

No details available.


Terror Tales (2019) - Movie Review

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