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Review: Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Is Crude, Gory, Made With Genuine Love

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Volumes of Blood

This movie took me by surprise. I assumed it would be another uninspired run of the mill anthology horror. And it is for the first ten minutes. Then it’s revealed the story we’re watching is a film within a film. A hardcore horror fan in the audience shouts at the screen and starts drawing dicks on the posters in the cinema lobby. That’s when I realised Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories doesn’t take itself too seriously.

It’s about time comedy horror had a resurgence. Some of the best horror films have a lighthearted quirkiness to them. A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, the Wicker Man, even the Texas Chainsaw Massacre have moments of (albeit extreme) black humour. Scream could even be considered primarily a comedy if watched from the right perspective.

This sense of fun has disappeared from 21st century horror. No wonder the makers of this film, self-proclaimed genre fans, felt the need to create something that brings this essential tonal element back.

The violence is gleefully brutal, nasty and overtly gooey, similar to Hatchet. That’s another thing Volumes of Blood wants to reclaim for the genre – practical effects (done here by Cassandra Baker, who manages to literally paint the entire screen space red.) It’s a breath of fresh air to once again see the art of realistically constructed plastic innards and broken bone.

Volumes of Blood Horror Stories Pumpkin

The stories are mostly set in the same house in different time periods and with their own unique style. They include killer bathtubs, cannibals and the evils of real estate. The most professionally done one is set at Christmas and stands out for it’s self-consciously red obsessed colour palette, a brilliant mostly silent performance by Jessica Schroeder and a twistedly funny script.

Jay Woolston and Cindy Maples also stand out as a hilariously demented couple in a story about the dangers of selfies that feels like a sketch from the League of Gentlemen.

It’s crude, gory, made with genuine love and certainly shows that crowd funding can produce worthwhile, well crafted movies.

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