REVIEW: Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories
– By Dave Dubrow
In April of 2016, I reviewed the indie horror flick VOLUMES OF BLOOD right here at The Slaughtered Bird. I gave it a generally positive rating, though one of the crewmembers threw his toys out of the pram when I pointed out that the female lead in the Encyclopedia Satanica segment couldn’t “run any faster than an arthritic trot.” VOLUMES OF BLOOD: HORROR STORIES is the sequel to VOLUMES OF BLOOD; you can tell because this movie has a subtitle, whereas the first one didn’t. Hopefully this review doesn’t elicit quite as much anger as the previous review did. [He’s lying; reviewers love to make people mad. –ed]
VoB:HS (as the movie shall now be abbreviated) is, no two ways about it, a complete gore-fest. There’s enough fake blood, viscera, and ripped flesh to fill a swimming pool, if you were so inclined. Throats get slit, teeth get curbed, intestines get pulled out, and swollen hemorrhoids get sliced open…and that’s only scratching (gouging) the surface. So if that’s your thing, you’re sure to get a gore-boner. A gorection, as it were. A bloody stiffy. A—[Stop it. –ed]
In structure, the story is comprised of several horror vignettes loosely connected by a completely nonsensical plot. There’s kind of a haunted house motif wrapped in a meta-fictional narrative, folded in a flaky crust of recurring characters and baked in a non-linear presentation. The resulting pie doesn’t taste so nice when eaten all at once, but some of the individual bits are pretty good.
The first vignette was the best of the lot. Titled Murder Death Killer, it had snappy, funny dialogue and an old-school Jason-style antagonist in Atticus Crow. The music got invasive throughout, but it’s still a fun piece.
Haters was a horror-comedy short that was probably funnier in print than on screen.
A Killer House was the narrative thread that attempted to tie the remaining vignettes together. In it, the creepiest realtor on the planet tries his best to get a young couple to look at his house’s cellar, but they insist on starting from the attic and working their way down. As they go through the house, we see the horrors that each room has experienced, from the bathroom to the bedroom to the living room. A few amusing exchanges keep life in this segment.
The Trick or Treat segment made no sense except as an exercise in watching people get murdered in disgusting ways.
The idea of hanky-panky is touched on in the predictable Feeding Time vignette. If you’re ever in the protagonist’s unenviable situation, always demand payment first thing.
Blood Bath takes you to the bathroom and…well, you’ll just have to watch it. Doesn’t quite do for the shower the way Psycho did, but it’s still pretty horrific.
It’s Christmastime in the overlong Fear, for Sinners Here segment. Holiday piano music, red wine, carolers, and something terribly sinister. The theme of killers killing killers, echoed across most of the vignettes, figures here, too.
Age, marriage, noisy neighbors, and weak one-liners collide in The Deathday Party.
Each vignette took place during or near a holiday, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Father’s Day, etc, and were presented in different years. So the Thanksgiving vignette occurred in 2014, while the Christmas one took place in 2008. Why that is, I don’t know; I wasn’t able to figure out why the stories were shown out of order. Taken all at once, the movie’s a long, hot mess. It works better as individual tales of gross-out horror.