Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Who doesn’t like a horror anthology?  They’re kind of cool in the sense that with a little money some filmmakers can make some short films, some producer can track these down and stitch them together, and viola!  A feature film is ready to be presented.  Sometimes these anthologies are great, ‘Trick r’ Treat’ comes to mind, sometimes they are not so great.  Say like the recent one we saw calling itself ‘Deadtime Stories’.  Today we have the horror anthology ‘Little Deaths’ which promises to toss in a little sexual debauchery in the mix along with the horror.  Can’t beat that.  Well, as it turns out, you can. 

In the first tale ‘House and Home’ directed by Sean Hogan, we are introduced to the upper crust couple of Richard (Luke de Lacey) and his wife Victoria (Siubhan Harrison).  Victoria is really hot, but she doesn’t ever give her wimpy husband any action as Victoria has ‘other tastes’.  In essence, Victoria usually dispatches Richard to pick up homeless chicks so they can bound them, degrade them and do stuff like pee on them and tell them how worthless they are.  I mean they’re homeless and I’d think they’re fairly degraded already, but this is what these loons like to do.  On this day Richard has picked up Sorrow (Holly Lucas), offered her a warm bath, a hot plate and some spiked wine all followed by Holly waking up strapped to a table buck naked and Richard raping her while degrading her further.  As an unrelated side note, to be homeless and stuff Sorrow’s rack sure is damned well maintained.  Back on point, the odd thing is that Sorrow seems to like this abuse.  Or not.  Imagine a chicken knocking on your door, jumping in some flour, then jumping in hot oil and frying itself, then jumping on your plate.  How awesome would that be?  Just so you know, Richard and Victoria are the chickens we’re referencing here.

I don’t know what to tell you about director Andrew Parkinson’s ‘Mutant Tool’.  All I do know is that there’s a mad scientist that has some guy strapped in a basement with a three foot long mutated penis… mutant tool… which is being milked because the semen creates a wonder drug.  I’m not making this stuff up.  We also get to meet a recovering junkie / prostitute named Jen (Jodie Jameson) who is taking this semen drug, unbeknownst to her, that’s having the negative effect of giving her a psychic link to penis guy while also making her terminally horny.  Beats the hell out of me what happens next.

Finally there’s ‘Bitch’ directed by Simon Rumley.  Here we are introduced to the very attractive, though appropriately mighty bitchy Claire (Kate Braithwaite) and her boyfriend Pete (Tom Saywer) whom she routinely abuses.  Claire has some… issues.  I think Claire has a morbid fear of dogs, but at the same time she forces her boyfriend to crawl around on all fours, wear a dog mask and act like a dog.  Claire we believe is also a nymphomaniac and her boyfriend is a two-minute brother.  This is a problem.  Tom loves Claire but apparently a dog can only get kicked so many times before this dog has to do something about it.  Tom does something about it.

We had heard some good buzz about ‘Little Deaths’ and the way these three directors went about their business of bringing these stories to life.  Now we do appreciate the risk and nerve in bringing the elements of sex, violence, depravity and debauchery into one’s story, I mean imagine how much more awesome ‘The Sound of Music’ would’ve been if they had done this, and these short films certainly do execute this plan of debauchery, but just because they possess sex, violence, depravity and debauchery doesn’t mean they’re any good.  In fact, with the probable exception of ‘Bitch’, I’m of the opinion that these are actually kind of lousy. 

‘House and Home’ is less lousy than it was simply run of the mill.  Yes, it did have sex and nudity and it was pretty damned debase, but beyond that the story was predictable and standard.  Holly Lucas is fun to look at however.

Again, I don’t know what to tell you about ‘Mutant Tool’.  It certainly wasn’t standard or was it predictable… it was just really, really strange.  It seems in movies that if one throws in the word ‘Nazi’ then that gives a filmmaker a greenlight to theoretically get away with anything.  Freaking Nazi’s and their experiments.  Admittedly, this one was beyond me.  Three foot penises and semen filled mind-fuck drugs… Yeah, I didn’t get it.  Even less the conclusion. 

‘Bitch’ on the other hand I think accomplishes what this trilogy was aiming for.  The tale was out there, to be sure, but it still found a way to bring itself around to make some sense.  Kate Braithwaite brings the sexy, Tom Sawyer presents a character who we might not be able to relate to… I realize some of us have done some unenviable things in service to a pretty girl, but this was crazy… but I think because of the way the story was written, we understand why he ultimately did what he does.  We don’t condone this type of behavior, but we understand. 

So while we did like the daring nature of ‘Little Deaths’, and the fact that it does push the envelope of good taste to its breaking point, the stories that were being told felt like they needed just a little more work to truly achieve what the filmmakers were going for.

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