Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tales of the Dead (2010)

I always appreciate a good anthology, and Tales of the Dead is a bit uneven – but in some parts very good – collection of horror stories all directed by UK filmmaker Kemal Yildrim. Last time I reviewed something similar was Alex Bakshaev’s Naked Trip with Jason Impley in the lead. Both gentlemen are involved in this project, especially Impley as a cinematographer and actor. As a former indie-filmmaker myself it’s extra fun to see what colleagues makes with little money and a lot of passion…

Tales of the Dead consists of four short movies (five if I count the surrounding story, binding all together) and first out is Less is More, which for me also was the best of the bunch. Caroline Nash is May Walker, a woman who “suffers” from Body integrity identity disorder, she wants to have parts of her body removed. Her marriage with Steve (Gary Halliday) is strained, and soon she decides to help herself to the perfect body…

First of all, Caroline Nash and Gary Halliday is brilliant as the couple. Nash makes a top-notch performance as a woman who just wants to be happy, but in her only little way. Yildrim’s direction is excellent and together with Impley’s camera work, this is a great and moody little piece of relationship/body-horror.

Next is Wolf Cry, about a young man (a good Nadeem Choudhry) who obvious can’t separate fact from fiction anymore. His life is movies, movies, movies and the relationship with his mother is getting worse and worse. He starts to get hallucinations and soon he’s more into horror stories than in real life.

I like the idea with this movie, and some parts of it looks great and has the perfect atmosphere. The realistic drama in between the horror-sequences don’t work as good as with Less is More and the visual style is all over the place. The actors is fine though. It’s getting better with Penance, a giallo-style serial killer story with a big dose of S&M. A gory killing, a depressed alcoholic cop and some stylish set-pieces makes this a decent and fun episode.

Last, but not least, is the Blair Witch-style Cromwell’s Curse where a cursed street has the lead. It’s the classic found footage, and here I would have loved some more horror, some more twists – but it’s a concept that works and it’s something that could work as a feature length movie too.

Less is More is the highlight of a good, but slightly uneven anthology-movie. Kemal Yildrim is clearly a great talent, and I would love to see a slow moving disturbing drama with horror elements, like the first short movie, as a feature. Watch out for Alex Bakshaev in a cameo, which always is a pleasure!


Alex B. said...

Ehehe, so you've spotted me:)
It was great working on this project as a crew member, as well.
There were some talented people on board.
I actually don't have a copy of this film yet, so it's a nice surprise to read a review of it, thanks!

Ninja Dixon said...

Of course!

I understand these four (or five) movies was shot with a lot of year in between? That might explain some differences in style.

I have three more discs to watch, so that will be a pleasure!

Alex B. said...

That's right Fred.
These films were originally separate shorts and were filmed over a considerable period of time.
Hope you enjoy the other films as well!

CiNEZiLLA said...


sounds like I have to check it out to see what "the lads" have been up to then!

angel said...

It sounds incredibly good! I should have checked it out.