Deadtime Stories falls into the category of lesser-known 80s anthology films, having never heard of it before until Scream Factory announced it for a Blu-ray release. The flick features stories based on familiar fairy tales but does so in a rather neat and exciting way. Not all the stories are perfect home runs, but with most anthology films, the goods outweigh the bad.
DISCS: 2 (1 Blu-ray, 1 DVD)
RUN-TIME: 83 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
PRODUCTION DATE: 1986
RELEASE DATE: Feb 28, 2017
Your favorite nightmares come to life in a salute to the age-old bedtime story ritual. Travel on a mysterious journey to a medieval world populated by blood-crazed witches, evil experiments and captive maidens. Then from the catacombs and dark caverns of medieval Europe, you’ll plunge into modern suburbia and the adventures of a female jogger stalked by a savage werewolf. Finally, sensuality will become macabre, black comedy as you follow the trail of three bank robbers who share their country house hideaway with a sweet murderess.
Deadtime Stories starts off with a wraparound story based on The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Little Brian is having trouble sleeping, and he keeps yelling to his Uncle Mike that monsters are trying to eat him. When his Uncle arrives in Brian’s room, the kid says he wants to be a told a story. Uncle Mike is probably not the best person to be telling stories to children, as each one is full of gore, sex and violence.
The first tale to be woven is titled ‘The Black Forest’, which isn’t based on a particular fairy tale, but takes bits and pieces of old-time lore and throws it together to create a fun little story. We have nasty witches, a voluptuous virgin and a ritual that can only be performed by the witches during the winter solstice on a full moon. ‘The Black Forest’ isn’t played seriously, with lots of funny moments, but one scene, in particular, the resurrection of a witch, is a sight to behold in the practical effects department. It was also fun seeing Scott Valentine, who I remember from the 80s film My Demon Lover.
The first story wasn’t enough to satisfy little Brian, so Uncle Mike takes time away from watching ‘Miss Nude America’ to tell another tale based on Red Riding Hood. This time around, Red Riding Hood is a taught, firm breasted Cheerleader who spends most of her time fantasising that her boyfriend is feeling her up.
The sexy cheerleader, Rachel, is tasked with picking up some medicine for her Grandmother, and when she arrives at the drug store, her braless red running suit flusters the two guys so much, they mix up the medicine. The pharmacist mistakenly gives Rachel the pills that were meant to keep customer Willie (Matt Mitler, The Mutilator) from turning into a nasty werewolf. Willie notices the mistake and quickly heads over to Grandma’s, but Rachel is too busy realising her fantasy to be there before the full moon rises.
The second story is a fun tale, with some nice special effects on the werewolf design. It takes a familiar tale and incorporates it into “modern” times and works out rather well. The ending also lands on a fun note, leaving viewers grinning.
Finally, after Brian cries monster one more time, Uncle Mike tells him one last tale to put him to sleep. This time around it is the infamous Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This tale didn’t grab me at first, but it seems to be the one that stuck around in my head the longest. Maybe it’s because of Goldi Lox, played by Cathryn DePrume, who takes a nice hot shower and shows us perves her boobies.
After having escaped an insane asylum, the three bears, Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear head back to their hideout, but unbeknownst to them, Goldi Lox, who is a crazy, telekinetic hottie who kills all her boyfriends, is hanging out and sleeping in all their beds. Unlike the tales, the three bears hit it off with Goldi, and the foursome begins a relationship that could very well last a lifetime of wreaking havoc and murder across the country.
The reason the story didn’t hook me at first, is this one is played out rather weird, with a lot of slapstick humour that misses the target by a mile. Nevertheless, the more I think about all the ways it changed up and played with the famous tale, I realised it was fun.
Deadtime Stories does a lot with its three stories and wraparound. It takes familiar tales and twists and turns them into fun little horror stories, with some superb special effects and a bunch of attractive women that I rather enjoyed gawking at.
Deadtime Stories comes to us on Blu-ray from Scream Factory in a package that has a fair amount of special features and an excellent video transfer to keeps things clean. There are times where the picture quality goes a bit soft, but that is more inherent to the lower budget of the film than any issue with the transfer.
The special features have a bunch of highlights throughout. The audio commentary/interview with the Director and interviews with cast and crew members was very much welcome and a lot of fun to sit down and watch. They have a lot of fond memories of this troubled shoot, given the fact that it took a few years of shooting to get it finished. Shoot a little until the money is gone and wait until some more come in and shoot again. In fact, one of the features titled ‘The Black Forest’, which is an extended cut of the first story, was actually what the movie was going to be about, as they didn’t think the anthology idea would work out. The overall story doesn’t change too much, and as far as I can tell, the ending isn’t complete, but it’s still neat to check out. Rounding it all out is deleted scenes, with opening director commentary and some trailers and gallery.
- NEW Hi-Def Transfer From The Original Negative
- NEW Audio Commentary With Co-writer/Director Jeffrey Delman
- NEW I Like The Grotesque – An Interview With Co-writer/Director Jeffrey Delman
- NEW Interviews With Actors Cathryn de Prume, Melissa Leo And Scott Valentine
- The Black Forest – An Alternate Cut Of The First Story
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailers
- Still Gallery
Deadtime Stories may have been a forgotten anthology film to me, but now that I have seen it on Blu-ray, I will happily slide in next to other stories of its ilk (Read More Anthology Reviews!). If you’re a fan of fairy tales and anthology films, this is one Blu worth grabbing.