George A. Romero introduces a trilogy of horror stories.
“Valley Of The Shadow”: Angela’s (Amy Marsalis) husband worked for a pharmaceutical company. They sent him into the jungle to look for a plant that supposedly had medicinal qualities. That was three years ago. He hasn’t been seen since. On the pretence of finding the special plant Angela talks a rich man into funding the expedition provided he can go along. The team manages to actually find the medicinal plant but they themselves are found by some antisocial tribesmen that don’t like trespassers.
“Wet”: Jack (Jeff Monahan) is an alcoholic that finds junk on the beach and sells it as souvenirs. One day he finds a jade box. Inside is a shriveled up hand. He tosses the hand in a drawer, cleans up the box and takes the top to a local antique dealer. The dealer, Swan (Nick Mancuso) freaks out when he sees the cover. Over a bottle of booze he tells Jack that there are many boxes buried and each box contains a piece of a mermaid. If all the pieces come together the mermaid will live again and the man who makes that happen will never be the same again. Wanting the valuable jade, Jack ignores Swan and digs up all the boxes. He then tosses the body parts in a wooden box all together and buries it. The mermaid (Kristin Slaysman) comes back to life.
“Housecall”: Mrs. Norman (Maryanne Nagel) calls Dr. Marsten (Bingo O’Malley) to come see her teenage son Jimmy (Jason Hoehnen). The doctor is new to the area having retired from his city practice to work in the country. When he gets to the Norman house Jimmy is tied to the bed. Mrs. Norman tells the doctor that Jimmy believes he is a vampire. Marsten takes some blood from the boy and tells him there is a test that will tell if he suffers from that particular malady. Jimmy believes the doctor is just humoring him and doesn’t believe. Mrs. Norman explains to Marsten about the strange disappearances lately of campers and teenagers. Marsten tells Mrs. Norman that Jimmy is probably mentally ill. At least until Jimmy escapes his bonds and the fangs come out.
“George A. Romero’s Deadtime Stories Vol 1” was released in 2009 and was directed by Marty Schiff, Michael Fischa and Tom Savini. It is a horror anthology comprised of three stories.
This film got a lot of flak as being bad. I, however, had witnessed a string of anthology films recently and let me tell you, I know bad. After seeing quite a few that were mostly cheezy stories with lame humor I was happy to be able to watch something that at least was on the spooky side. If your trashing on Romero for the film, don’t. All he did was introduce the stories and produce the film. He didn’t write any of the stories and he didn’t direct any of them. They were written by Jeff Monahan.
Granted they are not “Night of the Living Dead” but I didn’t think they were as bad as everyone else did. The first story wasn’t as interesting as the other two. As far as jungle horror movies are concerned it was rather mild. The special effects were subpar but it was still better than many I have seen. As far as story two is concerned it was better than the first. Some may find it predictable but having not seen that many horror mermaid movies I found it pretty decent. As for story three, most people found it a little talky and slow moving. I actually liked the pace. It had a nice buildup to the twist at the end.
If you’re trying to find information on this film or the sequel “George A Romero’s Deadtime Stories Vol. 2” 2011 on IMDb you will find lots of bad information. It appears that the information for both films got mixed together and some of the information for Vol 1 is really information on Vol 2 and vice versa. Even some of the reviews done by customers have been mixed up.