Horror anthologies are the perfect way to spend your night. They're story after story of pure horror and decay that typically connect in some way without you ever having to lift a finger to put a new movie in. If you're looking for one that will tickle your horror-fueled fancy for blood and gore, I highly recommend VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES.
Distributed by Blood Moon Pictures, VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES brings seven separate bloody tales that intertwine to create one horrifically goretastic anthology. There were quite a few names involved in this, including writer/producer P.J. Starks, writer/director Sean Blevins, director John William Holt, director Jon Maynard, writer/director Nathan Thomas Milliner, director Justin M. Seaman, producer Eric Huskisson, writer Jason Turner and director James Treakle.
The wraparound story in VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES tells of a couple walking through a house with their real estate agent as they try to decide if they want to take the plunge and buy the place. As they stop to investigate each nearly empty room, the house's history is revealed, showing the audience the horrible and grotesque things that had once taken place behind its walls. The seven individual stories included in this meta feature are Murder Death Killer (Milliner), Trick or Treat (Blevins), A Killer House (Treakle), Feeding Time (Holt), Blood Bath (Maynard), Fear, For Sinners Here (Milliner), and The Deathday Party (Seaman). Each story was creative and unique with insane twists. I, however, had three favorites overall: The Deathday Party, Trick or Treat, and Fear, For Sinners Here.
In The Deathday Party, married couple John (Jay Woolston) and Almeda (Cindy Maples) are preparing to celebrate his birthday when they're rudely interrupted by their neighbor, Fred (Huskisson) and Nancy (Anne Walsh). Although unexpected, the celebrating couple decide to turn their annoyance into some good, old fashioned bloody fun. This short is full of black humor and fantastic cheese! I simply adore Cindy Maples and she plays beautifully sadistic so well.
Of course, I enjoyed Trick or Treat as I love everything about Halloween. This one starts out on Halloween night with a killer on the loose. When a library security guard named Chad (Chad Benefield) leaves for work after getting a message about an intruder, his girlfriend, Mallory (Shelby Taylor Mullins), finds herself face to face with a ruthless killer. I loved everything about it: the October atmosphere, fun story, and one of the best cringeworthy kills of the entire anthology.
Fear, For Sinners Here is my favorite of them all and from what I hear, it's typically a favorite by fans. I loved everything about it. It takes place on Christmas Eve and centers around a seemingly sad woman named Carol (Jessica Schroeder) who is wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. She receives two knocks at the door - one is by carolers and her tearful heart warms with joy. The second, however, is by a hooded woman (Julie Streble) whose intentions aren't nearly as pure. I loved the characters, the Christmassy atmosphere, and the fun little twist at the end that I definitely didn't see coming.
Beyond the stories, the musical score by Josh Coffey, Mikel shane Prather, and Rocky Gray is phenomenal. Each song and score fit perfectly with the scene, building the tension and flowing well throughout the anthology.
Relative newcomer Cassandra Baker, the special effects advisor, raises the bar to what should be expected from FX artists everywhere. The gore, makeup, and overall special effects are a gorehound's wet dream and I enjoyed every second of it.
Overall, VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES, is the truest form of an anthology. It is a gory, cringeworthy story made by horror fans for horror fans. There's not a single doubt that the people behind this blood bath are fans of the genre and know it like the backs of their own collective hands. Over 100 indie artists dedicated their time to this project and I can tell how much love went into it. It is set to be released on DVD later this year. When it does, grab your popcorn and a cold drink and prepare for a night of blood splatter and mayhem!