TERROR TALES (2016) Reviews and overview

No happy endings!’

Terror Tales is a 2016 American anthology horror feature film written, produced and directed by Jimmy Lee Combs (Hans Crippleton: Talk to the Hans). The movie stars Jennifer Runyon, Ari LehmanLynn LowryHelene Udy and Felissa Rose.

Plot:

When Michael wakes up he is horrified to find that he is riding shotgun with a psychopath (Christopher Showerman) who reveals to him that his family is held captive in the attached cargo trailer.

The trailer is rigged to release a deadly toxin when triggered by a switch in the car. Thinking of his family’s safety, he cooperates with everything the psychotic driver asks him to do even if it means breaking the law.

During this bizarre ride, the driver subjects Michael to three horrific tales of the macabre including a demon that takes a mother (Lynn Lowry) on a journey of self-discovery and reveals to her the horrifying truth behind her son’s decision to take his own life.

The next tale takes place in the ’80s where a detective is hot on the trail of a serial killer known as The Sledgehammer (Jonathan Tiersten) who is terrorising a video store owner and his wife.

 

In the final tale, an evil deity is using the human body as a host to possess its victims. When the deity destroys one victim it jumps to another causing an epidemic of possessions being reported.

With a burning desire for the truth behind his abduction and the safety of his family, will Michael have the will to survive the madness?

Release:

Terror Tales was released on VOD on January 8th, 2019, and DVD on February 5th by High Octane Pictures.

Reviews:

“I liked the idea behind several of these stories but felt that it’s two-hour running time could have bee trimmed somewhat or that perhaps one of these stories — particularly the last one — could have held up and been its own movie. There’s some stunt casting here, with the professionals standing head and shoulders above some of the newer talents, but those names are going to be the ones that get most people to rent or buy this.” B&S About Movies

“There are a few issues with the running times which can feel overstretched at times and it can feel disjointed where the film suddenly jumps between events. Thankfully these do not affect the overall execution of the film. Terror Tales is a well thought out anthology which adopts the familiar tropes of anthology films such as Creepshow. Balancing horror, gore and comedy the film emulates the fun compilations as you would expect.” Blazing Minds

“Probably the biggest flaw with Terror Tales is the wraparound story. It’s a decent enough setup for us to hear the three tales. There is just very little investment in the plight of the hostages. However, Jimmy Lee Combs writing and directing style captures the style of more classic anthologies nicely. It pays homage to the likes of Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt very well indeed.” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life

“It’s fun, gory, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is a great example of an independent film with its heart in the right place. The inclusion of veteran horror actors is fun for die-hard fans of the genre and the anthology format makes its only downfall (lengthy segments) very forgivable.” Horror Geek Life

“I would love to say “this movie blew my mind,” but I can’t. For me, yes the cast is great, but the overall mood is almost non-existent and the audio could use a lot of work. I almost feel like this was too much of an independent production to showcase these talents because the somewhat low budget atmosphere subtracted from their appeal.” Horror Society

Terror Tales provides a variety of stories and a lot of familiar faces. It’s wonderful to see so many horror veterans in one satisfying production. Be sure to keep watching through the credits for additional scenes and more about the fate of Radical Video…” Indie Horror Online

“It’s clear that Combs had budget imitations when putting Terror Tales together, but his dedication is evident and he manages to include some solid practical and digital effects in each of his tales. He knows his audience and what they want and he delivers. Terror Tales is a fun and entertaining ride.” Movies in Focus

 

“It bills itself as featuring a cast full of supporting actors from middling horror films of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s. Some of them are almost able to rise above the material and amateurish direction, but most get eaten alive. That said, it was an ambitious idea to bring them all together in what was clearly meant to be a homage to that era of horror. It’s just a shame that they weren’t all assembled for a more worthy venture.” Ready Steady Cut!

“My main issues were with the lighting, generally poor acting quality and bland cinematography. The special effects were ok in some spots but in others they were terrible. The gunshots in particular. What was more frustrating was that in a lot of the scenes just shifting the camera angle or toning down the lighting would have helped immensely.” Sci-Fi Scary

Terror Tales has more to offer than just a stellar cast, it is a fun anthology that covers a large amount of subgenres in its four stories (also counting the wraparound here) and delivers all the tension, suspense and violence one would expect, with dashes of the macabre and even irony attached throughout.” Search My Trash

“The budget constraints are problematic. The segments are sometimes expeditious, sometimes convoluted. The editing is suffocating. We can’t absorb details. That being said, at some point, we accept the film’s weaknesses. The stories are ambitious. The special effects are experimental; they can be good or inferior.” Tales of Terror

“The wraparound ends on a fairly predictable note but it’s not a totally unsatisfying one either. Which is actually a good way too sum up Terror Tales as a whole. The stories aren’t anything groundbreaking plot wise. They are done well though and certainly deliver the goods on an obviously low budget. On the downside, Terror Tales runs too long at 120 minutes.” Voices from the Balcony

Terror Tales has poor sound quality that a lot of low budget feature suffer from. Overacting, a satire sense of humor that I just didn’t get and possibly the worst sound effects of any movie I’ve ever seen outweigh the good here. Even though it’s just sound effects in the background it’s distracting to the point of taking you out of the stories.” Without Your Head

 

Main cast and characters:

Jennifer Runyon … Melanie (segment “Epidemic”) – Bloodsucka Jones vs. The Creeping Death; Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival; Carnosaur; Ghostbusters
Felissa Rose … Witch (segment “Epidemic”) – Swamp Freak; Bethany; Death House
Helene Udy … Sonya Hamilton (segment “Epidemic”)  –  Stirring; Swamp Freak; My Bloody Valentine
Laurene Landon … Miss Tate (segment “Radical Video”) – Maniac Cop
Lynn Lowry … Susan McKay (segment “By Proxy”)  – Cat People; The Crazies; Shivers; et al
Christopher Showerman … The Driver (wraparound story)
Ari Lehman … Edmond Blackburn (segment “Epidemic”) – The Black Book; Rock Paper Dead; The BarnFriday the 13th (1980); et al
Vivienne Bersin … Claire Watson (segment “Radical Video”)
Yan Birch … Satan- The People Under the Stairs
Ashley Park … Alisha Harding (segment “Radical Video”)
Jonathan Tiersten … The Sledgehammer (segment “Radical Video”) – Sleepaway Camp
Joshua R. Outzen … Delivery Guy (segment “By Proxy”) (as Josh Outzen)
Aeon Cruz … Nostalgic Customer
Veronica Moser … Nasty Scat Lady
Mark Canjar … Coroner (segment “Radical Video”)
Aeona Cruz … Nostalgic Customer
Greg Farinelli … Radical Video Customer (segment “Radical Video”)
R.J. Wagner … Tony McKay (segment “By Proxy”)
Ella Madison … Soccer Player
Pam Renall … Kristen (wraparound story)
Heath C. Heine … Police Officer (segment “By Proxy”)
Lyle DeRose … Angry Customer
Matt Block … Demon (segment “By Proxy”)
Bekah Jung … Geisha Girl
Rick Haak … Dad (segment “Epidemic”)
Amber Pennington … Sledge Hammer’s Victim (segment “Radical Video”)
Allie Escaffi … Vera Drake (segment “Radical Video”
Karen E. Thomas … Pamela Myers (segment “By Proxy”) (as Karen Thomas)
Alayna Lewis … Actress
Alaina Garland … Sledge Hammer’s Victim (segment “Radical Video”)
Leana Lewis … Bartender
Andy Hankins … Lieutenant (segment “Radical Video”)
Carmine DePaulo … Tony (segment “Radical Video” (as Carmine Depaulo)
Olivia Crist … Villager (segment “Epidemic”)
Richard Taylor … Radical Video Homosexual Customer 1 (segment “Radical Video”
Alec Ybarra … Soccer Boy
Paige Awtrey … Jean
Irene Leonard … Sister Agnes
Natalie Waldrip … Diane (segment “Epidemic”)
Spencer Kane … Paul Rickman (segment “By Proxy”)
Randy Outzen … Radical Video Store Customer (segment “Radical Video”)
Jain Barrett … Valley Girl
Perry B. Anthony … Video Store Customer (radical video segment)
Miranda Byers … Tiffany Moore (segment “Radical Video”)
Gretchen Pleshaw … Customer (segment “Radical Video”
Ben Hilzer … Blaine Moore (segment “Radical Video”)
Thomas Fears … Pastor James (as Tom Fears)
Madeleine Ours … Woman at Diner (segment “Epidemic”)

Technical details:

121 minutes

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

New and future releases