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Deadtime Stories, Volume 1

77 minutes
drama, horror, mystery

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This entry created 13 July 2022. Last revised on 13 July 2022.

1,327 hits since 13 Jul 2022
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Deadtime Stories, Volume 1

The original Deadtime Stories was made in the 1980s when horror anthologies were popular, and consisted of three tales told by the babysitter. This isn't that movie.

There was also a Deadtime Stories mini-series made from 2012-2014. Again, scary tales told by a babysitter. Has no connection to this movie.

So what apparently happened is that someone came to famous horror movie director George Romero (Night of the Living Dead), and paid him to host this anthology, of which the full title is George A. Romero Presents Deadtime Stories (and it did well enough that they made a sequel, so this is retroactively Volume 1). Just to be clear, Romero did not make this movie, he is apparently just the host.

And lastly, I noticed that some sources disagree as to which stories are in Volume 1, so I can only tell you what came on my DVD:

Valley of the Shadow
Determined wife persuades greedy industrialist to fund expedition into the jungle, to locate her lost husband and the valuable drug he was after. Adventure, suspense, gore, and comic twist.
Mysterious antiques dealer warns lonely man not to meddle with mysterious artifacts buried along the beach. Mystery, gore and romance.
House Call
Widow calls local doctor to treat her adult son, who has been tied to the bed for his own protection. Mystery, suspense, gore.

All of the performances are solid, with the possible exception of Romero (is he supposed to be so creepy?). Lots of horror-movie gore. With House Call, a special effect makes the film look like something from the 1920s (despite being in color).

My problem was with the scripts. Valley was too much running through the jungle, not enough reveal, and the animated comic ending seemed abrupt. Wet tries to be both horror and romance, and the 'twist' ending is just confusing. House Call is quite dramatic, but why does it have to violate the 'usual rules' for that type of monster?

Can you wargame it? The Valley story could certainly be turned into a skirmish campaign. The other stories, not much wargaming there.

All in all, each of the stories is interesting in its way, but all fell short for me. Not recommended, but not awful either.