Starring Steve Eaton, Megan Shepherd, Jim Brodhagen
Directed by Matthew Kister
As I’ve previously ranted and raved about the need for some strong competition to attempt to stand alongside Creepshow as a worthwhile horror anthology, many have tried, many have failed…and then there are some that just stand in the middle of the road, waiting to get mowed down – say hello to Shivers Down Your Spine.
Clocking in at an ungodly 120-minute runtime, the opening scene sees a man who is visited by a topless genie, and his first wish is to have her put some clothes on… aside from wanting to shut the movie off at his first poor decision, I pressed on (regrettable choice). His next wish was for her to regale him with some scary stories…just what you want out of a half-naked genie.
So, the stories commence, and we’re first-hand witnesses to tales of Christmas killers, dishonest scumbags, and murders of the innocents – overall there is an octet of stories, and to spare the souls of those who wish to lay eyes upon this collection, I’ll save the ultra-invasive details for another day (not really, but watch the movie if you want the goods). Some of the shorts are really fun to check out, while others are sheer torture to subject your peepers to, but me being the masochist that I am, I’ll let you all who are brave enough to watch to decide for yourself.
Director Matthew Kister got the most out of his cast’s performances – they’re surprisingly solid, with some genuinely funny moments contained, and the gore is adequately dispensed – some with practical effects that hit the mark and others that look as if they should have been scrapped before final cut – so is the way of independent cinema – toss it all into a blender, and see what spits out the spigot. Downsides for me were the length of the entire enchilada, and about half of the tales weren’t up to par, resulting in a presentation that simply sits on the radar, no movement, just one big blip.
If you’re hard up for a compilation piece this spooktacular harvest season, by all means give this a look, but don’t be prepared to write home about it.