"The IMDb Show" Thanksgiving special: Alan Tudyk ranks his top five droids of all time, we track down the cast of Roman J. Israel, Esq., and we share our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes with memorable sitcom families.
Most of the comments I've seen about this collection of 3 short films have been negative, and I'm a little surprised. No, this isn't a masterful collection, but there is quite a bit on offer for the curious viewer, as long as one's expectations aren't unrealistic.
Part of the problem lies in the packaging...2 of the 3 tales are at least as much sci-fi as they are horror, so the title and standard horror fare cover art on the VHS box aren't the best indicator as to the true contents.
As mentioned in other reviews, the films are 3 UCLA graduate projects from the mid 1980s, each with their own individual opening and closing credits.
The first film, "Ten Seconds To Countdown" is the most effective. Equal parts thriller and eerie sci-fi headgame, it is a tale of a young woman fleeing her controlling father, only to meet up with a more cosmic threat. In what is obviously a low budget effort, there is a genuinely creepy and surreal atmosphere that is very effective. Even though many would characterize the pacing as slow, I'd say that the term "deliberate" would be more apt. There are some inconsistencies, but they add to the surreal element of the tale and do not detract. I thought this was a really excellent segment.
The second feature, "Final Destination: Unknown" is a more predictable tale or murder and justice, but is still effective, and again, there are some unusual and imaginative moments that transcend the low budget production values.
The final segment, "Creatures Of Habit", is more of a crime drama meets character study that even being the weakest of the 3 shorts, still manages to reasonably entertain within a sort of strange neo-noir setting.
For those not expecting your typical horror fare, there is a lot to enjoy here. The performances are decent, and there is more going on here than in many by numbers Hollywood mega budget productions. Not on DVD as far as I know, but if you can get a VHS copy for $10 or under, you can do much worse.
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